Few things hit the spot like a well-crafted cocktail, but many drink recipes call for added sugars or simple syrups that mix in tons of extra calories. But don’t despair! If you’re looking to cut down on carbs and calories, it’s still possible for you to be a happy-hour hero without using a lot of sugar. Here are five low-cal, low-sugar cocktail recipes that are just as refreshing and delicious as the sugary stuff.
This refreshing recipe from Nutritious Life uses fresh pineapple instead of sugary juice or mix. The cocktail also has coconut water for an extra boost of electrolytes that’ll help keep you hydrated on a hot afternoon by the pool. It’s everything you love about piña coladas, without the unnecessary calories. Pour ‘em up!
It takes only three ingredients to make this light-but-tasty margarita, from PB&P Design. Fresh lime juice, tequila and orange juice. You can also add Stevia sweetener to taste. If you want a marg that’s even lower in sugar, you can skip the orange juice altogether, or replace it with sparkling water. The recipe also calls for the drink to be paired with a margarita guacamole, which sounds almost too good to be true.
If you want a guilt-free excuse to use your cool copper Moscow mule cups, this recipe from I Breathe I’m Hungry is a great place to start, as it’s free of any added sugars. The recipe involves making your own ginger syrup (unless you can find sugar-free ginger beer at the store). Mix up your syrup with vodka, fresh lime juice, diet ginger ale and fresh mint, and you’ve got a low-carb signature cocktail that your guests will love.
This fizzy cocktail is “berry” easy to make, and it’s nearly as fun to look at as it is to drink. Combine vodka and a low-carb sweetener (the recipe from Wonky Wonderful calls for monk fruit sweetener) in a cocktail glass and mix it up. Then add frozen organic berries and sparkling water, and mix it up again with a spoon. The boozy berry beverage is a great way to avoid sugary, high-calorie mixers.
This frozen treat combines red wine, brandy, and a whole lot of fresh fruit to create a refreshing sangria that’s heavy on the fun but light on the calories. The sangria, from Joyful, Healthy Eats, uses agave nectar as a sweetener, but most of the sangria’s sweetness comes from the fresh raspberries, peaches and orange slices. It’s the frozen summery party drink of your dreams.
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