Healthy Swaps: Summer Cocktails

There’s nothing wrong with sipping on a cocktail or two, just don't overdo it. Make smart choices for those alcoholic drinks – try our healthy swaps.
Related To:

Photo by: Stephen Murello ©Stephen Murello

Stephen Murello, Stephen Murello

There’s nothing wrong with sipping on a cocktail or two, but rising temperatures and summer festivities can tempt you to overdo it. When you combine lots of alcohol with sugary juices, sodas and other high-calorie mixers, it’s a recipe for a diet disaster. Make smart choices for those alcoholic bevvies  – try our healthy swaps.

Instead of: Traditional margaritas

Choose: Lighter versions – try lower calorie mixes with tequila included (such as Jose Cuervo Authentic Light Margarita) or the Healthy Eats from-scratch recipe

The Payoff: Slash the calories by more than 50%
Instead of: Pina Coladas

The Payoff: A savings of 450 calories and nearly 5 grams of fat per serving

Instead of: Martinis

Choose: One shot of vodka (1.5 fluid ounces) on the rocks with olives or a twist

The Payoff: At least 200 calories LESS per cocktail

Instead of: Fruity rum drinks
Choose: Sangria

The Payoff: Less calories from booze and fruit juice, plus some real fruit to munch on

Instead of: Beer
Choose: Light Beer

The Payoff: Fifty calories less per can or bottle. If you drink one beer a day, you’ll  save 18,250 calories over a year -- that comes out to 5 pounds

Looking for a tasty light beer? Check out the results of our light beer taste test

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Kale Juice as the Next Cocktail Mixer? (Yes, It's Happening.)

In signs that juicing enthusiasm shows no signs of waning, it now extends to those who like to indulge in the occasional cocktail.

Best Sipped Out of a Mug: Warming Holiday Cocktails — Fall Fest

Kick back with warming holiday cocktails that are best sipped out of a mug.

Award-Worthy Oscar Party Cocktails

With the Oscars just hours away, it’s time to get serious — serious about planning a little soiree with your movie-loving friends who also love to get dressed to the nines.

The Hottest Thing in Cocktails? Room-Temperature Drinks

Forget the craze for “premium” ice cubes in cocktails; now it’s room-temperature drinks that are hot, hot, hot.

5 Hot Chocolate Cocktails to Get Cozy with This Weekend

Food Network Kitchen spiked hot chocolate to create these five clever cocktails that will warm you all winter long.

Science Knows Why You Crave Bloody Marys on Airplanes

That craving for tomato juice or a Bloody Mary that comes over you in airplanes, as perhaps nowhere else? Blame the roar of the engines.

Raise a Glass to Cinco de Mayo

Check out a few of Food Network's favorite easy-to-make cocktails ideal for celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

How to Win Summer — All-New Videos

Cold beers are great and all, but you'll really up your summer party game with these boozy ideas.

Chefs’ Picks: Apres Ski

Four ski town chefs divulge their favorite apres-ski dishes, drinks and destinations.