Don’t Waste Calories at a Bar: 5 Low-Calorie Cocktails to Order at Happy Hour

Don’t Waste Calories at a Bar: 5 Low-Calorie Cocktails to Order at Happy Hour

When you’re worried about calories| drinking the wrong cocktail can make all the difference. Two drinks out with the girls suddenly turns into a 1|000-calorie night. Vodka sodas are always a safe bet but can get boring quickly. The next time you’re out at a bar or restaurant| order one of these cocktails instead u2014 all good and all well under 200 calories!

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| Old Fashioned

Before mudslides and appletinis were all the rage| there were old fashioneds. One of the earliest recorded cocktails| this 200-year-old bourbon drink is now a classic| and for good reason u2014 there aren’t a lot of ingredients getting in the way. Balanced and complex| try POPSUGAR Food’s recipe for an old fashioned and then make sure to order one the next time you are out!

| Margarita

When made right| a margarita is a refreshing and low-cal cocktail. The classic margarita recipe simply calls for tequila| lime juice| and a tiny bit of agave syrup or Cointreau. The most important thing is to skip premade mixes. If you’re worried that the bartender may use a sugary mix| don’t be afraid to ask them to use fresh lime juice and a splash of simple syrup instead.

| Cosmopolitan

Carrie and the rest of the Sex and the City gang obviously knew what they were doing| ordering cosmopolitans. Made from vodka| lime juice| and a splash of cranberry juice| a cosmopolitan barely breaks the 150-calorie mark.

| Mojitos

Just like the margarita| the classic mojito recipe has been tainted with a reliance on too much sugar or premade mixes. The original recipe is rum| mint| soda water| lime| and just a touch of sugar. Any trusted bartender will do you up right| resulting in a mojito that falls under 150 calories. To be on the safe side| ask the bartender to go easy on the sugar.

| Gimlet

Whether you choose vodka| gin| or tequila| a gimlet is a tart| straightforward choice for those wishing to save calories. The basic recipe is alcohol (traditionally gin) mixed with lightly sweetened lime juice| served up in a martini glass. Make things more interesting by ordering a cucumber or basil gimlet.

A Healthy Holiday Cocktail For All the Eggnog-Haters

During the holiday season, I love having warm spiced cocktails like eggnog and hot buttered rum to help warm me up in chillier temps. The downside is the astronomical amount of sugar and fat contained in these holiday classics. A nice alternative to these dairy-based drinks is mulled wine. It’s served warm and uses all the spices associated with the holidays but contains zero fat, and its star ingredient is heart-healthy red wine. Adding to mulled wine’s appeal is that it also make a great cocktail for parties; it’s easy to make ahead of time and can be done in large batches. Who doesn’t want things to be as simple as possible when it comes to planning a holiday party?

Mulled Wine

From Michele Foley, POPSUGAR Fitness

Mulled Wine

Notes

This recipe is easily adaptable. Play around with the spices to better suits your tastes, and feel free to use different fruit for the garnish.

A Healthy Holiday Cocktail For All the Eggnog-Haters

During the holiday season| I love having warm spiced cocktails like eggnog and hot buttered rum to help warm me up in chillier temps. The downside is the astronomical amount of sugar and fat contained in these holiday classics. A nice alternative to these dairy-based drinks is mulled wine. It’s served warm and uses all the spices associated with the holidays but contains zero fat| and its star ingredient is heart-healthy red wine. Adding to mulled wine’s appeal is that it also make a great cocktail for parties; it’s easy to make ahead of time and can be done in large batches. Who doesn’t want things to be as simple as possible when it comes to planning a holiday party?

Mulled Wine

From Michele Foley| POPSUGAR Fitness

Mulled Wine

Notes

This recipe is easily adaptable. Play around with the spices to better suits your tastes| and feel free to use different fruit for the garnish.

If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This

Before working in health and fitness, I spent a good part of my adult years working around food and alcohol. I was a server all through college. I would later spend a good chunk of my writing career as a food editor. While I (usually) have no qualms about exercising regularly, my love of cocktails is a persistent obstacle in losing those last stubborn pounds ¡ª an obstacle I’m unwilling to overcome. Thankfully, there’s a new trend popping up at cocktail bars that also happens to be waist-friendly. More and more bartenders are mixing up cocktails made entirely of low-proof liquor like Sherry, Lillet, or vermouth. Not only do these cocktails help prevent next-day hangovers, but they are also by design lower in calories. If you can lower the alcohol content of a drink, you also lower the amount of calories it contains. Andrea Tateosian, a bartender with the Kimpton hotel group, says that these types of drinks are perfect for her more health-conscious customers, especially those who still want to enjoy a couple of drinks without getting completely wasted. These drinks tend to be lighter than an “in your face” whiskey or tequila drink, she says. “Maybe you don’t need all the crazy things, all of the time.”

An easy way to hop on this trend at home is by making a spritz, a simple recipe that pairs a low-proof alcohol with a little soda water (or sparkling wine) and citrus, my favorite being the refreshing and lightly bitter Aperol spritz. But if you’re feeling more adventurous, start with Andrea’s recipe, which uses a homemade thyme-lemon syrup and Cocchi Americano Rosa, a wine-based spirit. The result is a cocktail that has just a hint of sweetness to round out the more tart flavors of the Cocchi Americano Rosa.

Related: 5 Low-Calorie Drinks to Order at Happy Hour

Bacio di Rosa

From Andrea Tateosian, Urbana Dining & Drinks at the Hotel Palomar

Bacio di Rosa

Notes

To make the thyme-lemon syrup:

Bring 3 cups water to a boil, and add the zest of 1 lemon. Add a handful of thyme, and take the water off the heat, letting it steep for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Strain into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This

Before working in health and fitness| I spent a good part of my adult years working around food and alcohol. I was a server all through college. I would later spend a good chunk of my writing career as a food editor. While I (usually) have no qualms about exercising regularly| my love of cocktails is a persistent obstacle in losing those last stubborn pounds ¡ª an obstacle I’m unwilling to overcome. Thankfully| there’s a new trend popping up at cocktail bars that also happens to be waist-friendly. More and more bartenders are mixing up cocktails made entirely of low-proof liquor like Sherry| Lillet| or vermouth. Not only do these cocktails help prevent next-day hangovers| but they are also by design lower in calories. If you can lower the alcohol content of a drink| you also lower the amount of calories it contains. Andrea Tateosian| a bartender with the Kimpton hotel group| says that these types of drinks are perfect for her more health-conscious customers| especially those who still want to enjoy a couple of drinks without getting completely wasted. These drinks tend to be lighter than an “in your face” whiskey or tequila drink| she says. “Maybe you don’t need all the crazy things| all of the time.”

An easy way to hop on this trend at home is by making a spritz| a simple recipe that pairs a low-proof alcohol with a little soda water (or sparkling wine) and citrus| my favorite being the refreshing and lightly bitter Aperol spritz. But if you’re feeling more adventurous| start with Andrea’s recipe| which uses a homemade thyme-lemon syrup and Cocchi Americano Rosa| a wine-based spirit. The result is a cocktail that has just a hint of sweetness to round out the more tart flavors of the Cocchi Americano Rosa.

Related: 5 Low-Calorie Drinks to Order at Happy Hour

Bacio di Rosa

From Andrea Tateosian| Urbana Dining & Drinks at the Hotel Palomar

Bacio di Rosa

Notes

To make the thyme-lemon syrup:

Bring 3 cups water to a boil| and add the zest of 1 lemon. Add a handful of thyme| and take the water off the heat| letting it steep for 10 minutes. Add 3 cups sugar| and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Strain into a glass jar. Store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Low in Sugar and Light in Calories, This May Be the Perfect Cocktail

The weekend is the perfect time to celebrate with a drink ¡ª especially after a long run or outdoor workout. But it’s all too easy to cancel out all your hard work with a cocktail that’s full of hidden calories from tons of sugar and ingredients that are hard to pronounce. After doing a little research and experimenting with recipes at home, I found the perfect calorie-friendly cocktail that still seems fancy and indulgent: the mojito.

Related: If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink, Read This

Since a mojito is made with fresh ingredients and zero-calorie soda water, it ends up being a much better choice than cocktails like a gin and tonic or using a premade cocktail mix from the store. You can also make the drink more seasonal (and antioxidant-rich) by muddling in fresh fruit from your local farmers market; cucumber, pineapple, and raspberries are all great choices. The added bonus is that fresh fruit helps cut down on the amount of added sugar in the drink.

Mojito

From Michele Foley, POPSUGAR Fitness

Mojito

Mojito Recipe 2009-07-01 15:58:35

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sugar1/2 lime5 sprigs mint1.5 ounces light rumIceSoda water

Low in Sugar and Light in Calories, This May Be the Perfect Cocktail

The weekend is the perfect time to celebrate with a drink ¡ª especially after a long run or outdoor workout. But it’s all too easy to cancel out all your hard work with a cocktail that’s full of hidden calories from tons of sugar and ingredients that are hard to pronounce. After doing a little research and experimenting with recipes at home| I found the perfect calorie-friendly cocktail that still seems fancy and indulgent: the mojito.

Related: If You Want to Lose Weight and Still Drink| Read This

Since a mojito is made with fresh ingredients and zero-calorie soda water| it ends up being a much better choice than cocktails like a gin and tonic or using a premade cocktail mix from the store. You can also make the drink more seasonal (and antioxidant-rich) by muddling in fresh fruit from your local farmers market; cucumber| pineapple| and raspberries are all great choices. The added bonus is that fresh fruit helps cut down on the amount of added sugar in the drink.

Mojito

From Michele Foley| POPSUGAR Fitness

Mojito

Mojito Recipe 2009-07-01 15:58:35

Ingredients

1 teaspoon sugar1/2 lime5 sprigs mint1.5 ounces light rumIceSoda water

The Healthy, Cold-Fighting Cocktail You’ll Want All Winter Long

Since Winter is not going away any time soon, neither is the temptation of an eggnog habit. But, instead of reaching for fat-filled boozy eggnog or spiked hot chocolate, make yourself a hot toddy. This classic cold-weather warmer has all the same seasonal spices of pumpkin pie, but with way fewer calories. And it’s even been known to knock out a cold or two; perhaps it’s the citrus, immunity-boosting honey, and good-for-you cinnamon at work. Whatever it is, the hot toddy is one of our favorite ways to imbibe over the holidays or perk up when a cold hits.

Healthy Hot Toddy

Michele Foley, from POPSUGAR Fitness

Healthy Hot Toddy

Healthy Hot Toddy

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz. of brandy, scotch, or bourbon7 oz. hot water3/4 tablespoon honey2 tablespoons lemon juice1 star anise, cinnamon stick, or 3-5 cloves1-2 thin slices of lemon for garnish

The Healthy, Cold-Fighting Cocktail You’ll Want All Winter Long

Since Winter is not going away any time soon| neither is the temptation of an eggnog habit. But| instead of reaching for fat-filled boozy eggnog or spiked hot chocolate| make yourself a hot toddy. This classic cold-weather warmer has all the same seasonal spices of pumpkin pie| but with way fewer calories. And it’s even been known to knock out a cold or two; perhaps it’s the citrus| immunity-boosting honey| and good-for-you cinnamon at work. Whatever it is| the hot toddy is one of our favorite ways to imbibe over the holidays or perk up when a cold hits.

Healthy Hot Toddy

Michele Foley| from POPSUGAR Fitness

Healthy Hot Toddy

Healthy Hot Toddy

Ingredients

1 1/2 oz. of brandy| scotch| or bourbon7 oz. hot water3/4 tablespoon honey2 tablespoons lemon juice1 star anise| cinnamon stick| or 3-5 cloves1-2 thin slices of lemon for garnish

Tis the Season For Toasting: 10 Low-Cal Holiday Cocktails

‘Tis the Season For Toasting: 10 Low-Cal Holiday Cocktails

For a lot of us| it wouldn’t be the holidays without a seasonally inspired cocktail. Thing is| most of these drinks are heavy on fat and sugar u2014 not good if you’re trying to stick to a healthy eating plan. Instead of sitting out on the holiday cheer| make one of these diet-friendly| low-calorie holiday cocktails. Each recipe is either a light version of a traditional favorite or a new recipe rooted in the familiar flavors of the season.

| Light Eggnog

Traditional eggnog is brimming with calories: a one-cup serving has 343 calories and 21 grams of sugar. Before denying yourself this holiday favorite| try this light eggnog cocktail recipe from Bethenny Frankel| which only contains 148 calories.

| Rosemary Pear Sparkler

Pears are abundant right now| and a rosemary pear sparkler is a great way to utilize your farmers market stash of the fruit. This recipe is refreshing and light and turns up the wow factor of an already festive glass of sparkling wine.

| Mulled Wine

Start holiday festivities with a big batch of mulled wine. Served warm| it has all the spices associated with the holidays but with zero fat. Added bonus for the heart-healthy benefits of red wine.

| Hot Apple-Cider Rum

Hot buttered rum is a favorite this time of year| but a recipe based around butter isn’t always the best choice when you’re trying to be heart healthy. Try this recipe for spiked apple cider instead. While the fresh juice ups the calorie count| it still proves to be a much healthier alternative to hot buttered rum.

| Pomegranate Rosemary Martini

Toast to your health with this antioxidant-rich pomegranate rosemary martini. Nutritionist Cynthia Sass created this healthy twist on the martini| and we love that it’s garnished with the antioxidant-rich herb rosemary| not to mention the seeds of the pomegranate.

| Fall Affair

The Fall Affair cocktail is only 125 calories and contains no added sugar u2014 thanks in large part to the inclusion of low-calorie Voli vodka. With the flavors of apple and cinnamon mingling in the drink| it’s definitely a recipe to have on hand during any upcoming holiday parties!

| Pear Ginger Rum Runner Cocktail

Raise your glass to Autumn with our seasonally flavored rum runner. Boasting flavors of pear and antioxidant-rich ginger| this variation of the classic cocktail from nutritionist Cynthia Sass will warm you up while celebrating the tastes of Fall and Winter.

| Hot Toddy

The cold weather is not going away anytime soon and neither is the temptation of an Irish coffee. Since all that whipped cream can add up| make this hot toddy recipe instead u2014 one drink contains about 150 calories.

| Blood Orange French 75

Nothing says celebration like a little bubbly! This recipe for a blood orange French 75 can be made in big batches| making it a perfect party drink. It also doesn’t hurt that one glass is under 100 calories.

| Classic Cosmopolitan

Made famous by the Sex and the City girls| a low-cal classic cosmopolitan is an excellent drink to serve during the holidays u2014 after all| one of the main ingredients is seasonal cranberries. The pear essence cosmopolitan turns things up a notch with the addition of in-season fruit anjou pears.