For once, you’ve actually followed through with your New Year’s resolutions (so far, anyway): you’ve nixed the junk food and you regularly hit the gym—but despite your best efforts, you still have a gut. What gives? Well, the truth hurts, but we’re going to serve it to you straight: your drinking habits could be to blame. Alcohol not only adds calories to your daily diet, but it slows the body’s ability to burn fat for energy, too-–not to mention it increases your appetite, as the line down the block at Pizza 33 at 4AM on a Saturday night can attest. What you need is some low-calorie cocktails.
Studies have shown that those who drink regularly in small amounts average lower levels of abdominal fat than those who sporadically binge drink. In other words, a glass a day is better than becoming a weekend warrior. While eliminating alcohol altogether would probably solve your problem, let’s be honest—so not happening. Niccole Trzaska, head mixologist at New York City’s Stone Rose provides us some suggestions on going skinny with your drinks:
#1 Skinny Cocktail Tip: I always try to add something with a bit of fizz, which is a great way to add texture without adding calories.
#2 Skinny Cocktail Tip: Always use fresh juice. I absolutely hate the sugary pre-packaged juices. They drive me crazy.
#3 Skinny Cocktail Tip: Keep your cocktails simple. Adding additional spirits into a complex cocktail adds a lot of unnecessary calories.
#4 Skinny Cocktail Tip: Don’t be afraid of champagne. An ultra brut has only 65 calories. You can look sexy and sophisticated without a sugary, fancy cocktail.
To begin your New Year’s resolution for a better looking you, here are some of our favorite low calorie cocktails that’ll satisfy your cravings without sacrificing a sensational summer.
Top Low Calorie Cocktail: Summer Lovin’ Shot
Calories: Around 30 Calories
When it comes to the steamy season, less is always more, especially when you want to soak up the sun. However, those yummy Pina Coladas and Daiquiris can pack on the pounds if enjoyed regularly, so why not keep things simple? X-Rated Fusion Liqueur is a new spirit that unites French Vodka with blood orange, mango, and passion fruit, minus excess calories. Spend more time showing off your slimmer figure by simply adding a splash of tart cranberry juice for a shot that goes down easy. Those summer nights have never looked this good.
1 part X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
1 part Light Cranberry juice
Add ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a shot glass.
Top Low Calorie Cocktail: Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne
Calories: 65 per glass
While champagne isn’t considered as a cocktail, the sparkling wine is a favorite among supermodels looking for a wild night out without ruining their famous figures. Just ask Kate Moss who’s often seen sipping on this dry champagne whenever she’s out at a party. Laurent-Perrier Ultra Brut is essentially champagne in its purest form without the final addition of sugar, and is one of the last houses of France to still produce their signature drink this way. Who doesn’t love savoring some bubbly guilt-free?
Top Low Calorie Cocktail: Watermelon Martini
Calories: Around 125 per glass
This luscious fruity drink always made a beautiful addition to any fiesta and it’s hard to find someone who won’t feel rejuvenated after a glass. Best of all, the Watermelon Martini is one of those few cocktails that you can easily modify to make it healthier for you. For example, if you don’t want to include juice, you can add some ripe watermelon chunks to a blender and quickly puree them. It doesn’t take rocket science to prepare a Watermelon Martini, giving you extra time to later work out…right?
1 part Vodka
1 ½ parts Watermelon juice
1 Watermelon slice
Add vodka and watermelon juice cocktail shaker and shake. Pour in a martini glass. Garnish with watermelon slice.
Top Low Calorie Cocktail: Mexican Bikini
Calories: 130 per glass
Ladies, want to fit into that little bikini for your getaway to Acapulco? Have a zesty little number like the Mexican Bikini to encourage your efforts in becoming more active and eating right. Just remember that there’s nothing wrong with a little wiggle room, just as long as you sip this thirst quencher in moderation. Think of it as spiked-up fizzy lemonade for bombshells like you. Also, note that the Mexican Bikini features diet soda and agave nectar, which has fewer calories than simple syrup.
½ oz. Tequila
½ oz. Vodka (We used Citron)
1 tsp. Agave nectar
Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake for 10 seconds. Strain cocktail into a chilled martini glass.
Top Low Calorie Cocktail: Daisy Fuentes’ Mojito
Calories: 153 per glass
What’s the secret behind Cuban beauty Daisy Fuentes’ hard-rocking bod? Mojitos, done right! While it’s not news that this minty treat can be loaded with sugar, they’re just so mouthwatering! To feel good about drinking this tempting concoction, Fuentes relied on “Real Housewife” Bethenny Frankel, who happens to be a celebrity natural foods chef. Frankel slims down this refreshing summer favorite with fresh juice and honey. Sweet!
2 Limes cut into 6 wedges
1 ½ Tbsp. Lime juice
2 Tbsp. Crushed mint leaves
1/2 tsp. Warm honey
2 oz. Rum
4 oz. Club soda
1 Mint sprig
Fill a martini shaker with 1 cup ice. Add lime wedges, lime juice, and mint. Muddle lime and mint with a pestle or a long spoon until well-bruised and fragrant. Combine honey, rum, and club soda; stir gently to dissolve honey. Add to muddled mixture; stir until mixture is well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with mint and lime wedge.
Top Low Calorie Cocktail: Skinny Jalapeño Margarita
Calories: 164 per glass
Frozen margaritas are always a favorite among social drinkers, but some can have up to 400 calories, making it a concoction that you shouldn’t have so frequently. And all that salt rimmed around the glass? Sodium causes you to get thirsty quicker, which can make an aching tummy feel like you’re hungry, thus leading to grub overload. Fortunately, you can still have a margarita with a natural kick. The Skinny Jalapeño Margarita, prepared by Jorge Guzman of New York City’s Ofrenda Restaurant, features notes of pepper, rich chocolate, and a subtle hint of pineapple. Like the Mexican Bikini, the Skinny Jalapeño Margarita also has agave nectar to limit sugar, without completing removing a touch of sweetness. Heat up your night with this spicy elixir.
2 oz. Jalapeño-infused tequila (We used Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila)
1 ¼ oz. Freshly squeezed lime juice
½ oz. Agave nectar
1 Lime wheel
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and pour into a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.