With the summer heat at an all-time high, why not cool off with some of these fruity cocktails? Margaritas and daiquiris are often loaded with sugar and unnecessary calories that leave you hungover or bloated, so we’ve searched for the best of the best low calorie, low sugar and low-carb drinks. Whether your poison is a mojito or sangria, one of these is sure to tantalize your taste buds!
adapted from NYTimes.com
Combine fresh fruit and chilled wine to create a lighter version of traditional sangria, perfect for a hot summer afternoon.
1 small green pear or green apple
1 small navel orange
1 bottle cava, moscato d’Asti or other sparkling wine
1 3/4 cups apple juice
1 1/3 cups Cointreau
1 cup club soda
Slice fruit into thin bite-size pieces. Place in large pitcher. Pour in sparkling wine, apple juice and Cointreau. If possible, refrigerate an hour or two to draw out sweetness and floral aromas of fruit. Add club soda, and stir. Spoon some fruit pieces into glasses filled with ice, and pour.
Created by The Cocktail Guru, Jonathan Pogash
Enjoy creamy drinks like pina coladas but are watching your calories? This drink perfectly blends coconut, berries and milk together with a fitting Acai-Blueberry vodka.
2 oz. Van Gogh Açai-Blueberry Vodka
1 scoop sugar-free raspberry sorbet
1 tsp. coconut cream
3 oz. skim milk
Add to blender and blend. Pour into hurricane or tall glass. Garnish with coconut flakes and fresh seasonal berries.
Low-Carb Cosmopolitan Cocktail
By Laura Dolson, About.com Guide: Low Carb Diets
Take a spin on the classic cosmo by making it with diet cranberry juice and fresh lime juice instead of that sugary bottled stuff!
1 jigger (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons) Citron vodka or regular vodka
1 oz (2 tablespoons) diet cranberry juice (NOT “light” — it must say diet)
OR 2 teaspoons unsweetened cranberry juice and 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh preferred)
2 to 3 drops orange extract
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar equivalent in artificial sweetener (to taste), liquid preferred
Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake well. Taste for sweetness if using unsweetened cranberry juice, which is highly variable. You may need to add sweetener. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a small lime wedge or curl of lime peel.
BLUE Skinny Lemonade
Lemonade has always been a summer staple, and Crystal Light has a portion of the sugar and calories as other mixes, so stir some up and add a splash of vodka to make this childhood drink more adult-friendly.
Combine ingredients and shake vigorously in shaker with ice. Strain into glass and enjoy!
From Eating Well, as seen in Fitness Magazine
Instead of making a margarita out of syrupy mix, take a cool approach by blending frozen blueberries and limeade for a unique refreshing drink.
Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila, if using, in a blender and blend until smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve.
Watermelon Gin Fizz
From Eating Well, as seen in Fitness Magazine
When you think of the summer, watermelon usually comes to mind. This delicious drink combines fresh watermelon with gin, lime juice and ginger ale for a sweet and sour cocktail.
Freeze 1 cup watermelon for garnish. Puree the remaining 4 cups watermelon. Strain; divide the juice among 4 ice-filled glasses. Top each with 1 1/2 ounces gin, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/3 cup ginger ale. Garnish with the frozen watermelon and lime wedges.
Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail
as seen in Fitness Magazine
Made just like a mojito, this cocktail branches out from the original combination of rum, mint, lime juice and simple syrup to take on a fruitier approach. Made with strawberries, citrus vodka, lemon juice and mint, you still have some of the same flavors but with a sweet twist.
1 sprig of mint
3/4 ounce light agave nectar, such as Wholesome Sweeteners
1 3/4 ounces citrus vodka
3/4 ounce lemon juice
In a shaker, muddle together mint and strawberries, then add the remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously with ice for 20 seconds. Pour entire contents of shaker into a tall glass. (Include all of the mint and strawberry pulp.)
Created by Kevin Baker at the Isla Cantina in West Hollywood, California
This unique liquor is flavored with blood orange to be both sweet and tangy. By blending it with cucumber and grapes, you’re sure to have a fun drink that’s healthy at the same time.
2oz X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
2 slices of Peeled Cucumber
12 Red Seedless Grapes
Blend all ingredients with ice in a blender. Garnish with slices of cucumber.
From barbecues to lazy beach days, there are so many things that remind me of summer. As for cocktails, nothing says beach season quite like a frozen margarita. Enter Skinnygirl Margarita, Real Housewives star Bethenny Frankel’s latest commercial venture. I was offered a free taste at my local liquor store. Their marketing tactics worked—only 100 calories for this all-natural, preservative-free 4-oz. cocktail lightly sweetened with agave nectar. I also love that it saves me from breaking out the blender . . . more time at the beach!—Ariel Gononsky
Buy Skinnygirl Margarita at skinnygirlcocktails.com