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

Reinvented: Bloody Marys 5 Ways

Food Network Kitchens' share their five favorite “hair of the dog” Bloody Mary hangover cure recipes.

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.

Have a Tax Day Cocktail!

If there's one day you deserve a cocktail this year, it's April 17. Mail off your taxes, then unwind with a themed drink.

Keep Cool with Watermelon Cocktails

Watermelon is super versatile when it comes to drinks, including cocktails. Check out these one-of-a-kind recipes and start embracing the wonderful world of watermelon cocktails.

Never Heard of Baijiu? Here’s What You Need to Know

Baijiu could soon be big in America. Find out what it is now.

Best 4 Apple Cider Cocktails

Put seasonal apple cider to work in Food Network's top-four recipes for apple cider cocktails.

Save Some Coffee for Cocktail Hour

Whether you've just finished a big dinner with friends or you’re spending a Friday evening in alone, these coffee cocktails are sure to put a smile on your face.

Hot Drinks for Cold Nights

Whip up either of these warming beverages to close out a holiday gathering or a chilly winter night. They're perfectly portioned to prevent the seasonal tendency to go overboard.

Party-Ready Punch Recipes

Big-batch drink recipes are great for serving your game day crowd. Inspired by classic cocktails that are normally mixed up a few at a time in a shaker, these punches are a great make-ahead solution for your party.

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.