13 Low-Calorie Cocktails to Help You Have Fun and Stay Healthy

low calories cocktail recipes

PSA: You don’t have to cut out alcohol entirely in order to reach your fitness goals. We rounded up 13 low-sugar, low-calorie cocktails to help you have fun and stay healthy. Cheers to the weekend (or just making it through the weekday—is it 5 pm yet?)!

Any registered dietitian will tell you that, when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, balance is key. So what if you’re trying to stay healthy but still want to enjoy cocktails when you’re with friends and family? There are ways to stay on track without cutting out alcohol from your diet completely. “The research on drinking alcohol and health is mixed, and, like many things, it’s best consumed in moderation, if at all,” Gaby Vaca-Flores, RDN, CLE HUM’s education specialist. “If you have a healthy relationship with alcohol and choose lower sugar options when possible, it can be part of your lifestyle.”

The key is to be intentional with the ingredients. Many cocktails are loaded with sugar, which can spike your blood sugar levels, leading to excess caloric intake, and can make hangovers worse. But if you choose drinks that have less sugar and fewer calories, you’ll be able to drink in moderation and still make progress towards your health goals.  (But it’s worth checking out the CDC’s recommendations about alcohol consumption for men and women.) We rounded up 13 healthy cocktail recipes (including one healthy mocktail if you want to skip alcohol altogether) so that you can have fun and stay healthy.

The Best Low-Calorie Alcohols to Use

Different types of alcohol have different calorie counts. In order to choose healthy alcoholic drinks, it’s important to understand how many calories are in each alcohol. Here’s the calorie count for one serving of each type of liquor:

  • Bourbon: 105 cal
  • Gin: 110 cal
  • Rum: 97 cal
  • Tequila: 64 cal
  • Vodka: 96 cal
  • Whiskey: 105 cal

If you’re looking to craft a healthier cocktail, you’ll want to use alcohols like tequila, vodka, or rum. Still, bourbon, gin, and whiskey are fine to use as well. What it really comes down to is the mixers or other ingredients you choose to use—as those can greatly increase the sugar and caloric content of the cocktail quickly.

13 Healthy Cocktail Recipes to Try ASAP

Whether you’re looking for a low-calorie cocktail recipes or simply just a healthier drink option, we’ve got you covered. Here are 13 healthy alcoholic drinks to try for your next night out.

1. Pomegranate Martini 

healthy cocktail pom margarita

This recipe, which was crafted by Vaca-Flores, has a couple of perks. First off, it’s a low-calorie cocktail that still tastes delicious. Plus, the pomegranate packs a powerful punch of antioxidants. “Pomegranates are high in antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids that can help shield against free radicals,” she says.

Yields: 2

What you’ll need: 

  • 2 shots of vodka
  • 1 oz peppermint schnapps 
  • ½ cup pomegranate juice 
  • ½ cup sparkling mineral water
  • Ice
  • Garnish: 
    • 1 tsp pomegranate arils 
    • ¼ cup mint leaves

How to prepare:

  • In a martini shaker, combine vodka, peppermint schnapps, sparkling water and ice.
  • Strain into a martini glass
  • Garnish with pomegranate arils & mint leaves

2. Cranberry Mimosas 

healthy cocktail cranberry mimosa

This cranberry mimosa is the perfect healthy holiday cocktail. The key to this cocktail is the cranberry juice. “100 percent cranberry juice is an excellent source of vitamins like vitamin C,” Vaca-Flores says. Additionally, the cranberry juice provides proanthocyanidins (PACs) to help support urinary tract health.

Yields: 2 mimosas 

What you’ll need:

  • ½ cup 100% pure cranberry juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar (optional for added sweetness) 
  • 1/3 bottle of champagne 
  • Garnish skewer 
    • 4 cranberries 
    • 2 rosemary sprigs
    • 2 toothpicks

How to prepare:

  • Pour 3 parts champagne and 1 part cranberry juice into each champagne flute
  • Optional: Stir in ½ tsp of agave nectar to each glass if you prefer a sweeter flavor
  • To garnish, poke 2 cranberries and rosemary sprigs onto toothpicks and place on top of glass

TIP: If you’re hosting an event, you can triple the recipe (and use up the entire bottle of champagne) to make six mimosas.

4. Orange Crush

healthy cocktail recipes orange crush

If you’re not a budding mixologist, this simple 3-ingredient cocktail is for you. It’s low-calorie, low-sugar, and high in vitamin C—and it only takes a few minutes to make.

Yields: 1

What You’ll Need:

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1.5 oz orange juice
  • 1 can Mango Orange Spindrift (or another favorite sparkling water brand)

How to prepare:

  • Fill glass with ice
  • Add 1 shot of vodka
  • Add 1 shot of fresh orange juice
  • Top with orange spindrift
  • Garnish with a slice orange

5. Coconut Margarita

Hangovers will be a thing of the past with this healthy cocktail recipe. The coconut water helps hydrate your body to ward off any unwelcome headaches in the morning. Added bonus: It only has three ingredients and can be assembled in an instant.

Yields: 1

What you’ll need:

  • Juice from 1 ½ limes
  • 1 ½ shots of Coconut 1800 Tequila
  • 8 oz coconut water

How to prepare:

  • Mix all ingredients together and pour over ice

8. Healthier Pina Colada

Transport yourself to a tropical destination with this healthy cocktail recipe. Regular pina coladas are filled with sugar and calorie-dense cream. But this recipe uses fruit juice and a small amount of coconut cream to cut down calories, limit sugar, and amp up the antioxidants.

Yields: 1

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5oz white rum
  • 1oz spiced rum
  • 1/2oz fresh lime juice
  • 3/4oz coconut cream
  • 1.5 oz fresh pineapple juice
  • Nutmeg

How to prepare: 

  • Combine all the ingredients in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and shake
  • Strain into glass
  • Garnish with fresh nutmeg

7. Vodka Watermelon Spritz

@allyssainthekitchen

Quick & easy & relatively “healthy” cocktail 😎 @statesidevodka #allyssainthekitchen #fyp #drinktok

♬ good 4 u – Olivia Rodrigo

We love this low-calorie cocktail recipe because it’s full of hydrating watermelon. The lime and basil work to balance out the strong flavor of vodka for a crisp, refreshing, low-sugar drink.

Yields: 1

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lime
  • ¼ cup watermelon
  • Fresh basil
  • 3 oz vodka

How to prepare:

  • Blends watermelon, lime juice, and basil
  • Strain the mixture into a shaker
  • Add two shots of vodka
  • Shake well and pour into a glass filled with ice
  • Top with basil and enjoy
  • Pour over ice

8. Tequila Sour

Want to impress your guests with minimal effort? This low-calorie cocktail recipe will do the trick. It’s only 144 calories, low in sugar, and three ingredients. Plus, it tastes delicious.

Yields: 2

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz of lemon juice
  • 3 oz shots of tequila blanco
  • 1 oz agave nectar

How to prepare:

  • Add ingredients into a shake
  • Add lots of ice and shake extremely well
  • Pour into a chilled glass

9. Ginger Lime Sparkler

Just changing out the mixer in your cocktail can make a world of difference. For example: Switching out ginger ale (which typically has around 140 calories and 35 grams of sugar per can) for Olipop’s Ginger Lemon drink (which has 35 calories and 2 grams of sugar) cuts down on calories and sugar. Plus, Olipop has pre- and probiotics to help support digestion.

Yields: 1

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz of vodka
  • 1 can of ginger lime Olipop
  • 1.5 oz fresh lime juice
  • Garnish with lime

How to prepare:

  • Fill a glass with ice
  • Pour vodka and lime juice into glass
  • Fill with Olipop
  • Stir and garnish with lime

10. Lavender Lemonade

@lizmoody

it’s literally the best cocktail I’ve ever had & SO easy to make #healthyrecipes #cocktailrecipe #summer2020 #learnontiktok #favoriterecipe

♬ Jcole remix – –

Lavender and lemon are the perfect pairing. But, typically, cocktails with this flavor pairing contain a lot of simple syrup and added sugars. This recipe uses minimal sweetener and includes bitters, which researchers think may support digestion (since they increase saliva production in your mouth) and help control appetite (since they can release hormones that signal feeling full).

Yields: 1

What you’ll need:

  • 1.5 oz vodka
  • 1.5 oz lemon juice
  • Drizzle of honey
  • 3 drops of lavender Bitters

How to prepare:

  • Add vodka, lemon juice, honey, and bitters to a glass
  • Stir and add ice
  • Top with sparkling water
  • Garnish with lemon slices

11. Kombucha Gin Cocktail

healthy cocktail recipe ginger kombucha
Photo: Frozen Bananas

Another healthy cocktail mixer? Kombucha. It’s filled with probiotics to help support digestion. Plus, the ginger will soothe your stomach and give your system a boost of antioxidants.

Yields: 2

What you’ll need:

  • 2 ounces gin
  • 4 ounces fresh orange juice (Juice from about 2 oranges) 
  • Ginger kombucha 
  • 6 large ice cubes
  • Garnish:
    • Fresh mint leaves 
    • Orange slices

How to prepare:

  • Pour the gin and fresh orange juice into a cocktail shaker. Shake well.
  • Grab two glasses filled with 3 large ice cubes each
  • Pour half of the gin orange mixture into each glass
  • Top each drink with kombucha.
  • Garnish with mint leaves and orange slices. Enjoy!

TIP: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, just mix the gin and orange juice very well.

12. Sparkling Pineapple Ginger Lemonade

Feeling fancy? This sparkling pineapple ginger lemonade is a gut-friendly option, as the pineapple, ginger, and lemon will help support digestion and deliver antioxidants to your system. It’s technically a mocktail, but the creator suggests adding tequila if you’re looking for an alcoholic version.

Yields: 2

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pineapple, cut up
  • 6 lemons, cut up
  • 1 large clove of ginger, cut into chunks, 3
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3.5 cups of water
  • Blend, then strain
  • One shot of tequila 
  • Sparkling water
  • Pour over ice

How to prepare:

  • Cut up pineapple, lemons, and ginger into chunks and add to a blender
  • To the blender, add maple syrup and water
  • Blend until smooth
  • Strain into a shaker
  • Add two shots of tequila
  • Shake and pour over ice
  • Top with sparkling water

13. Spicy Ginger Apple Cider

healthy mocktails

Looking for a healthy mocktail option? This spicy ginger apple cider is good for your gut and will leave you feeling refreshed. The fresh ginger contains gingerol, which boost immunity due to its antimicrobical and antifungal properties. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar (which means it won’t spike your blood sugar as much) and the kombucha is full of probiotics to support digestion and immune function.

Yields: 2

What you’ll need:

  • 1 knob ginger
  • 1 oz maple syrup
  • 2 oz lime juice
  • 4 oz apple cider
  • ginger kombucha
  • Garnish
    • Apples 
    • Cranberries

How to prepare:

  • Muddle ginger ad syrup in a glass
  • Add lime juice, cider, and ice
  • Shake, and add mix to two chilled glasses
  • Top each one with ginger kombucha
  • Garnish and enjoy

TIP: To make this alcoholic, add one ounce of vodka.

Maddy Sims
Maddy Sims
December 5, 2022
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