September 2021

Stay Skinny with Low-Cal Summer Cocktail Recipes

By Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD

It is possible for a very irresistible summer cocktail to come from a low-cal recipe and still be delish! Too many standard summer cocktails, like mojitos and margaritas, can lead to the dreaded muffin top—a less-than-desirable beach-body look. Witness, a single 12-oz. margarita weighs in at 60 g in carbs, very close to a reduced-fat blueberry muffin from Dunkin’ Donuts, which packs 81 g. Do you have to give up cocktails completely? ABSOLUT-ely not!
A recent study
found that women who drink in moderation are 30% less likely to gain weight over time versus those who abstain completely. Rely on my slimmed-down recipes for cool summer cocktails, and keep your body bathing-suit ready. Cheers!

3 Easy Summer Cocktail Recipes
to Try at Home

Summer Cocktail Recipes #1:
Skinny White Wine Sangria
Summer and peaches go hand in hand. Every year, I give this cocktail recipe to my patients, and they love it!
Serves 8
Low Cal Breakdown: 138 calories, 13 g carbs, 4 g fiber
1 bottle of wine
(Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc)
¼ cup of brandy
2 peaches with skins, sliced
2 plums with skins, sliced
1 green apple with skins, sliced
1 pint of raspberries
½ cup of Splenda
0.5 L of diet lemon-lime soda
Cool Summer Preparation: Pour wine and brandy into pitcher; add sliced peaches, plums, apples, and raspberries; next, add Splenda. Stir gently. Chill mixture for at least 1 hour. Add diet lemon-lime soda before serving.

Summer Cocktail Recipes #2:
Vodka with Fresh Oranges and Raspberries
This cocktail is super low in calories but strong in taste.
Serves 6
Low Cal Cocktail Breakdown: 116 calories, 7.5 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber
1 cup of vodka
1 L of club soda
2 oranges, juiced
½ cup fresh raspberries
½ cup fresh tangerines
Ice, crushed
Irresistible Summer Cocktail Preparation: Pour vodka, club soda, juice of 2 oranges, fruit, and ice into a blender; pulse until puréed. Serve in a tall glass, add fruit to garnish.

Summer Cocktail Recipes #3:
Garden Delight
A new favorite! This summer cocktail makes you feel like you’re indulging without worrying about packing on the pounds.
Serves 4
Healthy Cocktail Breakdown: 78 calories, 13 g carbs, 2 g fiber
2 medium kiwis, peeled & sliced
1 seedless cucumber, peeled & sliced
8 packets of Splenda
1 ½ oz. Lucid Absinthe
½ L strawberry-kiwi seltzer
Muddles o‘Fun Cocktail Preparation: In a whiskey glass, muddle two slices of cucumber and two slices of kiwi with Splenda. Fill with ice, add Lucid Absinthe, and top with strawberry-kiwi seltzer. Garnish with an unpeeled kiwi slice and/or cucumber slice on the rim.

Low-Calorie Summer Cocktail Options

The Low Calorie White Wine Spritzer
Serving size: 1 wine glass, 6 oz.
Breakdown: 60 calories (2.5 oz. of wine and the rest club soda), 1.5 g carbs, 0 g fat, 0 g sugar

No Fat Cocktail: Vodka Soda with Lemon and Lime
Serving size: 1 cocktail glass, 8 oz.
Breakdown: 100 calories, 0 g carbs, 0 g fat, 0 g sugar

The Cocktail Surprise: Champagne!
Serving size: 1 wine glass, 4 oz.
Breakdown: 75–100 calories, 1.5 g carbs, 0 g fat, 0 g sugar

Have a low-cal summer cocktail recipe to share? Tweet @PageDaily or post it on our Facebook wall.

Tanya Zuckerbrot, Health & Fitness Contributing Editor

Tanya Zuckerbrot is a Manhattan-based registered dietitian and the creator of the F-Factor Diet, an innovative nutritional program she founded in 1999. The F-Factor Diet: Discover the Secret to Permanent Weight Loss (Putnum, 2006) debuted in hardcover in January 2007. This common-sense plan, used successfully by hundreds of Tanya’s clients, provides tools for improved health . . . Read more

Skinnygirl Margarita: A Toast to Summer


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