We all know that summer, more than any season, brings the most occasions to raise a glass. Whether you’re toasting to good weather, enjoying one of the city’s gorgeous terraces, or lounging by the water, cocktails are a necessary accompaniment to the best summer activities. The downside? Calories, sugar, and more calories. Not to worry though, with some easy adjustments, you can still turn up while rocking your beach bod.
1. Use Soda Water Instead Of Sugary Colas
Why: Unfortunately, favoured mixers like Coke or 7-Up have tons of calories (especially when you’re three drinks in). Soda water is a much healthier option. It often gets a bad rap for being too bitter, but that can be easily fixed with some lemon juice, orange wedges or fresh mint leaves.
How: Give this simple drink a try.
Best for: Anytime, anywhere - versatile and perfect for any occasion.
2. Tequila is your best friend
Why: Tequila, along with other clear liquors like gin or vodka, are single ingredient alcohols, and thus tend to be lower in calories. All you need to know is one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, beach bod. Happy mixing.
How: This drink might just become your new go-to.
Best for: A good old fashioned, and potentially messy, girls’ night out (or in, no one is judging).
3. Try to drink your liquor straight
Why: Though not for the faint of heart, this is the easiest way to save calories when you want to get turnt without messing up your diet. Add some cut up fruit and ice to make it slightly less painful.
Best for: Your weekend pregame (or weekday pick-me-up; it's summer, after all).
4. Pick the right juices to mix (bonus: do them freshly squeezed)
Why: Though 99 cent cans of fruit punch for mixers are budget conscious, they’re not beach-bod friendly. Low-calorie cranberry, orange, and grapefruit juice are good choices. If you have the time to make them freshly squeezed, even better.
How: Watermelon is also among a healthier juice to mix with, so behold this unreal mojito for all the watermelon lovers.
Best for: Hot afternoons on a rooftop, by the pool, or a refreshing part of your picnic.
5. Swap traditional mixing syrups
Why: Typical choices like Grenadine or simple syrup are chock full of empty, sugary calories. Try agave syrup instead, which pairs well with a ton of summer cocktails, and is overall a healthier alternative.
How: This drink using agave syrup is called the “Look Better Naked” margarita. Need I say more?
Best for: Happy hour, of course!
6. Make easy modifications
Why: You don’t have to say goodbye to your favourite cocktails altogether - just try to use a little less of the not-so-healthy ingredients. For example, the nationally beloved Caesar can be a tad bit healthier if you opt for low-sodium tomato or clamato juice, and leave out the worcestershire and tabasco sauce (should you dare). It’s all about balance.
How: Use this traditional recipe with the healthy substitutions.
Best for: Caesars are known for their magical hangover healing powers, and if you make the healthier version? Even more powerful. Enjoy at brunch, or at any time just to treat yourself.
7. Sip on some lemonade (other than the Beyonce variety)
Why: Because lemonade is the pinnacle of summer, and thus, the perfect mixer. Store-bought ones can be way too sugary though, so instead try to make your own - it’s super easy and when mixed with some good liquor, the tastes compliment each other so well.
How: Try this "spiked lemonade" - every middle school dance party's dream.
Best for: On your porch/balcony, contemplating life with a big ‘ol pitcher of your new alcoholic concoction.