5 Tropical-Cocktail Calorie Bombs to Avoid This Summer
Sipping cocktails may seem like a good way to relax and cool off during the blistering heat, but many restaurants’ mixed drinks are boiling over with calories and sugar. Some of your favorite cocktails can have as much as 800 calories per drink! Guzzle three cocktails in the course of the day and you can potentially be taking in more than 2,000 of the daily recommended calories from empty-calorie beverages alone. Here are five tropical cocktails that are calorie bombs and that you may want to think twice about ordering.
Made with white rum, sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and mint, a mojito might sound like the perfect summer refresher. But large servings and a heavy hand on the rum can end up costing you lots of calories.
For minty flavor without the calories, try this mint julep for less than 250 calories.
A combo of tequila, citrus liqueur, lime juice and sour mix or simple syrup, this cocktail’s calorie count really depends on how it’s made. Margaritas made with sugary sour mixes can have up to 7 teaspoons of the sweet stuff per serving.
Nothing screams “tropical island” more than a pina colada. This vacation staple is made from rum, cream of coconut and pineapple juice, and is either blended or shaken with ice. Some places will use a sugary pina colada mix and serve the drink in a fun, tall glass — sometimes with an umbrella. The problem, however, is that lots of sugar plus alcohol equals a high-calorie cocktail bomb.
This cocktail is traditionally made with a good amount of rum and lesser amounts of curacao liqueur, lime juice and simple syrup. One fluid ounce of rum has about 100 calories, but a mai tai typically uses 2 fluid ounces — that’s 200 straight-alcohol calories.
This Passion Fruit Hurricane is a great alternative for rum fans.
This delicious cocktail is made from a combo of tequila, orange juice and grenadine, and served in a tall glass. With about 100 calories per jigger (that’s 1.5 fluid ounces) of tequila and about 110 calories per cup of OJ, it’s no wonder the calories quickly add up.
Tequila lovers should give Bobby Flay’s Watermelon Plata Tequila Cocktail a try.
Avoiding your favorite cocktail isn’t the answer. But here are a few ways you can moderate your alcohol calories:
- Ask for smaller glasses
- Enjoy one drink and then hydrate with water
- Ask the bartender to measure the alcohol in jiggers to avoid overpouring of alcohol
- Order your cocktail on the rocks (aka over ice)
- Split a cocktail with a friend — you’ll save half the calories!
Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.