As the weather gets warmer, the amount of time I spend outside with a drink in my hand definitely increases. Whether it’s at the lake on the weekends, a Thursday night happy hour on the patio, or a wine night out on the deck, I never seem to have a hard time finding an excuse for a cocktail. Surely I am not alone in this! This definitely isn’t the norm for me year round, but I am out of school for the summer, so I find myself saying “sure, why not?” a whole lot more often than usual!
Some of you might be thinking, I thought she was a “health blogger … now she’s blogging about cocktails?”. And while I get it, it does seem a little weird, I’m also human. I am still 24 years old, and for me, maintaining a healthy balance is the key to my success. I try to preach that because that is how I truly live my own life. Do I drink every single day? No. I spend 80% of my week drinking tons of water, eating nutrient dense foods, and working out. That means that I allow myself flexibility in what I’m eating and drinking the other 20% of the time.
Even though you can make a drink or two fit your macros, it’s still not something you want to make a habit of. Any type of alcohol you drink is going to be considered “empty calories”, meaning there is no nutritional value. That being said, there is truly no way to necessarily make it “healthy”, but there are definitely ways to downplay the amount of sugar/carbs that many of our favorite alcoholic drinks contain. So today I’m sharing my two favorite summer cocktails to mix up at home, as well as my tips on what to order when you’re out at the bar or a happy hour!
Cleaned Up Cocktails
Low Cal Moscow Mule
- 4-6 oz. Zevia Ginger Beer or Goslings Diet Ginger Beer
- splash of water
- juice of 1/2 a fresh lime
- 1 shot Titos vodka
- mint to garnish
La Croix Watermelon Spritzer
- 1/4 cup berries (muddled)
- 1 can / 8 oz. LaCroix Kiwi Sandia (this is my favorite La Croix, but any will work!)
- splash of lime juice
- 1 shot of Titos Vodka
What to order from the bar:
- Vodka Soda
- If I’m out with friends, you probably won’t see me without a vodka soda. My friends used to give me so much flack for how often I ordered this in college (and now the joke’s on them because that’s all they drink it too!). Vodka sodas are light and not chock full of sugar, which makes for the perfect drink if you’re going to be drinking more than one.
- If you’re not fond of the taste of vodka sodas, which I know many aren’t, ask for a splash of cranberry juice! If you still aren’t’ a fan, carry a bottle Mio in your purse and add a splash of that!
- 70-100 cals
- Michelob Ultra
- This is definitely my poolside/lake drink of choice. I am not a huge beer person, but you can’t be at the lake without a beer in hand right? Michelob is fairly light, I actually enjoy the taste, and it’s one of the lowest calorie beers on the market. Add and squeeze of lime juice and you’re good to go!
- 90 calories
- Wine is definitely not a bad option when ordering alcohol, but sticking to one or two glasses is the key for me. There isn’t a huge difference between red and white when it comes to calories, however red does typically have a higher alcohol content, which can mean a few more calories than a lighter white. One of the best tips when it comes to drinking wine, is to make it a spritzer. You can cut down on half the calories if you water it down with a little club soda!
- 120-160 calories
A couple extra tips when ordering a cocktail/drink:
- Make it “skinny” if you can
- Many restaurants are jumping on the health wagon and offering ways to make their drinks “skinny” by using lower calorie syrups/mixes. If this is an option, definitely take them up on it.
- Stay away from sangria
- Sangria always looks so aesthetically pleasing, and it seems to be everywhere in the summer. However, it is loaded with sugar from a combination of the wine, simple syrup, and the chunks of fruit. Stick with a glass of red or white!
- Always go with the “diet” option
- If you’re someone who mixes your alcohol with soda, always choose the diet option, or soda water which is even better!
- Stick to clear liquors
- Clear liquors typically have less calories than their darker counterparts.
- Opt out of anything frozen
- Any frozen alcoholic beverage is typically loaded with carbs and sugar because of the frozen mix that’s been used to make it. Your typical restaurant margarita or pina colada contains close to 120 carbs – which is equivalent to 3 Snickers bars!
Hopefully some of those were helpful to you, and will encourage you think twice and order something on the healthier side the next time you’re out having drinks! Check back soon for a post on how to calculate alochol macros!