Sidestep the extra calories of elaborate happy-hour drinks with these easy-to-make cocktails that maximize flavor without blowing your diet. By: Maureen Callahan, RD
Low-Calorie CocktailsCocktails can pack on a caloric punch when prepared with high-calorie mixers like juice, soda, tonic water, and simple syrup. Keep things light with these 10 skinny drink recipes.
In this recipe unsweetened pink grapefruit juice, fresh pink grapefruit sections, and vodka are sweetened with canned lychee fruit for an unusual Asian style cocktail. Serve at fancy winter parties or with casual Asian take out and enjoy the tart-sweet flavor contrast.
Gingered Pear and Brandy CocktailPear juice adds a welcome taste of fall to this skinny cocktail made with cognac, homemade sugar syrup and lemon twists. Short on time? Substitute agave or honey in place of the sugar for a no-cook syrup.
Champagne CocktailsAlways a classic, this specialty drink uses sugar cubes and bitters to add an elegant look to a simple flute of inexpensive champagne or sparkling wine. Both the sugar cube and bitters help balance a wine’s acidity.
Pimm's CupLooking for a unique cocktail for your next party? A favorite among Wimbledon tennis goers, this refreshingly light British drink pairs lemon and ginger with the spicy fruit flavors of a gin-based liqueur called Pimm’s No. 1 cup.
Bloody MaryEveryone’s favorite brunch cocktail is whittled down to a mere 76 calories per serving in this easy recipe made with bottled tomato juice, worcestershire, horseradish and ground celery seeds. Sans alcohol it makes for a spicy tomato drink.
Slushy Watermelon MojitosA quintessential taste of summer, this blender mojito takes some nifty, light shortcuts combining frozen cubed watermelon with limeade concentrate and sparkling water. Substitute precut frozen cantaloupe or other melon varieties for a flavor twist.
Amaretto-Lime ShinerGet ready for a good ole' Southern touch, because this fun cocktail brings the moonshine. With just four ingredients and ice as needed, you can easily set these out for a great night with good friends.
Champagne Limoncello CocktailsHappy hour doesn’t get much easier or more elegant with this simple cocktail made with a tart-sweet Italian liqueur called limoncello, lemon juice, and champagne. Here’s a toast to your health, or as the French say, a votre sante.
Hot Mojito TeaA twist on the classic mojito cocktail takes this cold drink and turns it into a warm and cozy fireside sipper made with steeped black tea, brown sugar, lime juice, mint and rum. With only 86 calories, it’s an ultra light indulgence.
Miso Bloody MaryThis miso bloody mary is a great twist on the original. Use celery stalks and lime wedges to garnish.
Champagne Pomegranate CocktailPomegranate juice tints it red but ginger ale, brandy and Champagne add the extra layers of flavor that make this sparkling, festive cocktail perfect for holidays and special occasions.
Sour-Apple SpritzersFor a wild and crazy last-minute cocktail that’s easy on the calorie-bank, take sour-apple cocktail mix, club soda, cinnamon and lemon and serve it martini style. With just 58 calories per serving go ahead and have two.