Slimmed-Down Summer Cocktails
Too many summer celebrations can get your waistline into trouble, especially when most popular mixed drinks rack up more than 500 calories each. Imbibe smarter with these three lightened-up versions of popular cocktails, each coming in at less than 300 calories.
Gooey, sugar-laden daiquiri mixes are full of added colors, flavors and high-fructose corn syrup. A half-cup of the mix alone contains almost 200 calories. This recipe uses the natural sweetness of fruit and gets a boost of flavor from coconut rum and coconut water.
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 banana (preferably frozen)
1 1/2 ounces coconut rum
1/2 cup coconut water
Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
A typical serving of this classic Cuban cocktail made from sugar, rum and mint can contain up to 500 calories. Instead of adding sugar, infuse flavor by using fresh fruit.
8 fresh mint leaves, torn
3 tablespoons diced pineapple
Juice of 1/4 lime
1 1/2 ounces light rum
Additional mint and lime for serving
In a glass, muddle mint, pineapple and lime juice. Add ice, followed by rum and seltzer. Give the mixture a quick stir and garnish with more mint and lime.
A typical restaurant portion of this popular drink can add up to more than 600 calories, thanks to lots of alcohol and sweetened mixers. This fruit-infused version keeps things light and naturally sweet.
Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce Triple Sec
Blood orange or lemon soda (San Pellegrino recommended)
Fresh lime juice
Lime wedges for serving
Place cilantro and strawberries in the bottom of a tall glass and muddle gently. Add ice, rhubarb syrup, tequila, Triple Sec, a splash of soda and a squeeze of fresh lime; stir or shake. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and serve with a lime wedge.
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.