- THE BEST (ALCOHOLIC) DRINKS TO REACH FOR IF YOU ARE CUTTING OUT SUGAR
- 60 Healthier Drinks for Boozing
- 1. Bloody Mary
- 2. Classic Mojito
- 3. Fruit Mojito
- 4. Mint Julep
- 5. Sidecar
- 6. Cape Codder
- 7. Sea Breeze
- 8. Lime Rickey
- 9. Screwdriver
- 10. Tequila Sunrise
- 11. Pom Cosmo
- 12. Vodka Sunset
- 13. Light and Stormy
- 14. Legend of Jack Sparrow
- 15. Berry Lemonade
- 16. Minty Iced Tea
- 17. Fizzy Lemonade
- 18. On the Rocks
- 19. Tom Collins
- 20. Grapefruit Margarita
- 21. Light White Russian
- 23. Gin and Seltzer
- 24. Gin Gimlet
- 25. Vodka Soda
- 26. Drunken Arnold Palmer
- 27. Pear Martini
- 28. Sex on the Beach
- 29. Cinnamon Sour
- 30. Grapefruit and Vodka
- 31. Sour Apple Spritzer
- 32. Tropical Rum Punch
- 33. Gin and Juice
- 34. Refreshing Gin Cup
- 35. Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail
- Shots and Shooters
- Frozen Drinks
- Wine Drinks
- Hot Drinks
- Take your spirits with low-sugar mixers
- Embrace Prosecco
- Avoid sweet wines
- Swallow your pride and buy light beer
- High alcohol/ low sugar cocktails
- Wines, fortified wines and champagnes
- Spirits and liqueurs
- 1. Diet Tonic Water
- 2. LaCroix Water
- 3. Sugar-Free Cranberry Juice
- 4. Fennel (Or Other Medicinal) Tea
- 5. Coconut Water
- 6. Guinness Stout
- 7. Reduced Sugar Orange Juice
- 8. Aloe Vera and Honey
- Refine Margarita Mixers /sugar-free
THE BEST (ALCOHOLIC) DRINKS TO REACH FOR IF YOU ARE CUTTING OUT SUGAR
Just because you’re on a low-sugar diet doesn’t mean you can’t indulge a little. There are plenty of choices out there for those who like a drink. As always with alcohol, moderation is key, but that doesn’t mean your intake needs to stop completely.
So here’s a taster of some of the best booze-buys to help you relax whilst keeping you trim and healthy.
Thanks to the beneficial chemical compounds it contains (polyphenol and resveratrol), red wine is one of the best choices for those ditching sugar. A small (250ml) glass of wine contains just under 1 gram of sugar (1/4 teaspoon). Bearing in mind your recommended daily sugar intake should be 50g for women and 70g for men, this is a drink you can afford to enjoy occasionally.
Most hard alcohol such as vodka, gin, rum, brandy, tequila and whiskey contain little carbohydrate or sugar so have minimal effect on your blood sugar levels. All the calories in spirits come from the alcohol, not sugar, ranging between 80 and 100 calories a shot.
However, watch out for the sugary mixers. You may think the popular gin and tonic is sugar-free, but actually the tonic water adds 18g grams of sugar (almost 4 teaspoons). Another seemingly innocuous mix of vodka and cranberry juice will set you back 30g of sugar (7.5 teaspoons), which is over half your recommended daily intake!
Instead, mix gin and tonic with carbonated water and fresh lemon, lime, or even cucumber. It’s incredibly refreshing. You might even get addicted!
A 100ml glass of this bubbly delight contains just 80 calories and a gram of sugar, well under a teaspoon. We raise our glasses to that news!
Surprisingly, beer is an acceptable choice on a low sugar diet. While beer does contain sugar, it’s in the form of maltose, which our bodies are able to metabolise, rather than fructose.
Choose ordinary beer, preferably with an alcohol content below 5%. With less than a gram of sugar per pint, you can enjoy a guilt-free Friday night drink in your local pub with your mates (though you might like to forget that a pint also contains 215 calories!)
60 Healthier Drinks for Boozing
Alcoholic drinks can be a sneaky source of calories, sugar, and even salt—but not when you play bartender. Try to get a few healthier alternatives under that (suddenly much looser) belt to impress friends and family and order with confidence when out at the bar. Here are the eight key guidelines that make our drinks healthier options:
- Use only fresh-squeezed or 100 percent fruit juice to reduce added sugars. Fruit juice can still be a dangerfood, though, so sometimes it’s best to dilute it with water or ice to cut back on calories.
- Choose seltzer water over other carbonated waters to eliminate added sodium and other additives. For recipes that call for soda, skimp on portions, or opt for diet or natural (read: less added sugar) versions—though those can have their pitfalls, too.
- Make simple syrup with honey which, though sugary, has some added benefits, like a healthy dose of antioxidants. It also gives you better control of the sugar content. Any recipe that calls for simple syrup will use the following recipe: ½ tablespoon honey mixed with ¾ tablespoon warm water.
- Use whole fruit instead of sugar or flavored syrups. The fruit itself adds fiber, natural sugars, and vitamins.
- Choose light alcohol over dark alcohol. The dark stuff contains more compounds known as congeners, which can worsen hangovers.
- Limit yourself to one shot per drink. Multi-alcohol cocktails can pack in serious calories, so we kept ours to one shot (or 1 ½ ounces) each. The shooters and shots we included actually contain less than one shot each to further lessen the caloric load.
- Size matters—especially when it comes to consuming liquid calories. That’s why we kept all our drinks right around the 8-ounce mark.
- Choose nutritious ingredients. Ginger, coffee, and lemon star in several of our drinks. They’ve each got their own proven health benefits, even though they may not totally counteract the negative affects of alcohol. (Note: Too much alcohol and caffeine can both dehydrate—making hangovers even worse—so try to keep it at no more than one cup of Joe for the night.)
*We’ve tried to simplify the recipes to make them easier to understand. So we simplified all the liquid measurements to shots or cups—none of this “ounces” nonsense!
1. Bloody Mary
Scrap the mix and make a Bloody Mary from scratch! Start with ¾ cup of no sugar-added, low-sodium tomato juice and add the juice of ½ lemon, a dash each of hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce, fresh ground pepper to taste, and 1 shot of vodka. Garnish with a lemon wedge and celery stick. Bonus points for adding a cocktail shrimp for some extra protein!
2. Classic Mojito
In the bottom of a glass, muddle 12 fresh mint leaves, the juice of ½ lime, and 1 tablespoon simple syrup. Add a few ice cubes and pour in 1 ½ ounces (one shot) of light rum and ¾ cup seltzer. Garnish with a lime wedge.
3. Fruit Mojito
Prep a classic mojito, but before pouring in the rum and soda, muddle in ¼ cup fresh or thawed frozen fruit like strawberry, blueberry, mango, or kiwi in the bottom of the glass. Top with ice, rum, and seltzer and garnish as desired!
4. Mint Julep
Muddle together 12 fresh mint leaves and 1 tablespoon of simple syrup. Pour in one shot of Kentucky bourbon and 2 shots seltzer water.
In a shaker with ice, mix together: 1 shot of cognac, ½ shot Cointreau (or other orange liqueur), and the juice of 1 lemon. Pour into glass with or without ice and garnish with lemon slice.
6. Cape Codder
Pour 1 shot of vodka and 2 shots cranberry juice (100 percent juice, no sugar added) over ice. Add 2 shots seltzer water, stir, and garnish with a lime wedge.
7. Sea Breeze
Pour 1 shot vodka, 1 shot cranberry juice (100 percent juice, no sugar added), and 1 shot fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice over ice. Add a splash of seltzer and enjoy! (Preferably in a beach chair by the water!)
8. Lime Rickey
Combine ½ a shot of fresh-squeezed lime juice, 1 tablespoon simple syrup, and ⅔ shot bitters. Top with 1 cup seltzer.
In an 8-ounce glass with ice, combine 1 shot of vodka and 2 shots fresh-squeezed orange juice. Fill remainder of glass with seltzer.
10. Tequila Sunrise
In a glass with ice, combine 1 shot of tequila and 2 shots fresh-squeezed orange juice. Top with a splash of cranberry juice (100 percent juice, no sugar added).
11. Pom Cosmo
In a shaker with ice, combine 1 shot pomegranate vodka, 1 shot orange liqueur, and the juice of 1 lime. Shake, strain into a martini glass, and garnish with a slice of lime.
12. Vodka Sunset
Muddle ¼ cup blackberries in the bottom of a glass. Top with ice and add 1 shot fresh-squeezed lemon juice, 1 shot fresh-squeezed lime juice, ½ shot simple syrup, 1 shot of vodka, and a splash of sparkling wine.
13. Light and Stormy
Into a short glass with ice, pour 1 shot of light rum and 2 shots ginger ale.
14. Legend of Jack Sparrow
In an 8-ounce glass with ice, combine 1 shot coconut rum and the juice of 1 lime. Fill the rest of the glass with ginger ale (about ¾ cup). Garnish with a slice of lime.
15. Berry Lemonade
In the bottom of an 8-ounce glass, muddle the juice of 1 lemon, ¼ cup frozen blueberries or strawberries, and ½ shot simple syrup. Pour in 1 shot of vodka and top with seltzer (about ¾ cup).
16. Minty Iced Tea
In a heatproof mug, combine 6 fresh mint leaves, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 black tea bag, and 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let sit for 2 minutes. Then, place mug in fridge or freezer until chilled. Remove tea bag and mint, and pour liquid into a glass with ice. Add 1 shot of vodka and garnish with a lemon wedge.
17. Fizzy Lemonade
In a shaker with ice, mix together 1 shot of tequila, ½ shot simple syrup, and the juice of 1 lemon. Transfer to an 8-ounce glass and fill rest of glass with seltzer (about ¾ cup).
18. On the Rocks
Drink it straight! Water down 1 shot of any favorite liquor by pouring over ice cubes for sipping!
19. Tom Collins
In a shaker with ice, combine 1 shot of gin and the juice of 1 small lemon. Strain into an 8-ounce glass and top with seltzer water (about ¾ cup).
20. Grapefruit Margarita
Combine 1 shot of tequila, the juice of 1 lime and ½ a grapefruit, and ¾ shot of orange liqueur. Pour over ice.
21. Light White Russian
Combine 2 shots brewed coffee (or espresso!) chilled and ¾ cup skim milk. Add 1 shot of vodka and a few ice cubes and stir.
22. Rosemary-Cucumber Lemonade
Stir together juice from 3 lemons and 1 teaspoon honey. Add 1 shot rosemary-infused vodka and ¾ cup seltzer. Garnish with a cucumber spear and lemon wedge.
23. Gin and Seltzer
Instead of a G&T, combine 1 shot of gin with 2 shots of seltzer water and garnish with a lime wedge (or a few!).
24. Gin Gimlet
In a glass with ice, combine 1 shot of gin, the juice of 2 small limes, and 1 shot simple syrup. Garnish with a lime wedge.
25. Vodka Soda
It almost goes without saying, but spice up 1 shot of vodka and 2 shots of seltzer with a lemon or lime wedge (or both). Works with any other liquor, too!
26. Drunken Arnold Palmer
Combine 1 black tea bag, ¾ cup hot water, the juice of 1 lemon, and 1 teaspoon honey. Chill. Add 1 shot vodka and garnish with a lemon wedge.
27. Pear Martini
Muddle half a very ripe peeled pear in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, ½ shots fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and 1 shot pear vodka. (Regular vodka works, too.) Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of fresh pear.
28. Sex on the Beach
In a glass with ice, mix 1 shot peach-flavored vodka, 2 shots cranberry juice, and 1 ½ shots fresh-squeezed orange juice. Add a dash of seltzer and enjoy!
29. Cinnamon Sour
In a cocktail shaker, combine: 1 shot mango vodka, 1 shot simple syrup, and 1 shot fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Pour over ice and garnish with a mango slice and cinnamon stick.
30. Grapefruit and Vodka
For a zesty cocktail, combine the juice of ½ a grapefruit and 1 shot of vodka topped with ½ cup seltzer.
31. Sour Apple Spritzer
Pour 1 shot sour apple vodka and ½ cup seltzer over ice and garnish with a green apple slice and a cinnamon stick.
32. Tropical Rum Punch
Stir together ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice, ½ cup pineapple juice (100 percent juice only!), and 1 shot light rum. Pour over ice and put on some shades.
33. Gin and Juice
Pour over ice: ½ cup of fresh-squeezed orange juice, 1 shot of gin, and ½ cup seltzer.
34. Refreshing Gin Cup
Mix together 1 shot of gin, ½ cup ginger ale, and 2 shots seltzer water. Garnish with a cucumber spear and lemon slice.
35. Gingered Pear and Brandy Cocktail
Create a ginger-infused simple syrup by mixing together 1 shot warm simple syrup and ¾ tablespoon chopped and peeled fresh ginger. Let stand 15 minutes, then strain. Mix together ginger syrup, 1 shot of cognac, and ½ cup pear juice or nectar and pour over ice.
Shots and Shooters
36. Redheaded Slut Lite
In a shaker with ice, combine ⅓ shot. vodka, ⅓ shot fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and ¼ teaspoon honey.
39. Scooby Snacks
In a shaker with ice, combine ⅓ shot coconut rum, ⅓ shot banana rum, ⅓ shot pineapple juice, and 1 tablespoon light whipped cream. Strain into a short glass.
40. Peppermint Patty
Muddle 6 fresh mint leaves with ⅔ shot vodka. Add a splash of water and 1 teaspoon light chocolate syrup. Mix in a shaker with ice. Strain before serving.
41. Pina Colada
Blend together ½ cup ice, ½ cup coconut milk, ¼ cup fresh pineapple chunks, and 1 shot white rum.
42. Frozen Lemonade
Combine 1 shot simple syrup, 1 shot of vodka, juice from 1 lemon, and ¾ cup of ice. Blend until smooth
43. Frozen Mudslide
Mix together 1 packet diet hot cocoa mix with 1 shot warm simple syrup and ¼ cup hot water. Blend the cocoa mixture, ¼ cup vanilla soy milk, 1 shot vanilla-infused vodka, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, and ½ cup ice.
44. Melon-Mint Granita
Puree 1 cup watermelon and 5 fresh mint leaves until liquefied. Freeze in an ice cube tray. Once solidified, blend with 1 shot white rum until it reaches the consistency of a slushie.
45. Strawberry-Lime Daiquiri
Combine 1 shot simple syrup, 1 shot white rum, 2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice, a small handful of frozen strawberries, and ½ cup of ice. Blend.
Blend 1 shot simple syrup, the juice from ½ lemon and 1 lime, 1 shot of tequila, and ½ cup of ice. Garnish with a slice of lime, but skip the salt.
47. Blueberry-Lime Margarita
Mix together the standard margarita but substitute ¼ cup ice for ¼ cup frozen blueberries.
48. Melon Kiwi-tini
Puree ¼ a honeydew melon and 1 kiwi (peeled), the juice from 1 lime, simple syrup (mix 1 shot honey with 2 tablespoons warm water), and ½ cup sake. Blend with ½ cup ice.
Into a Champagne flute, pour 2 shots fresh-squeezed orange juice, 2 shots sparkling wine, and ¼ cup seltzer.
50. White Sangria
In a wine glass, combine two strawberries (halved), ½ a fresh peach (diced), ½ a pear (diced), 2 shots white wine, and ¼ cup seltzer.
51. Red Sangria
Toss ½ an apple (sliced), ½ an orange (sliced), and 4 grapes into a glass. Add ½ cup fruity red wine and ¼ cup seltzer.
52. Pomegranate Fizz
Into a champagne flute, pour: ½ cup pomegranate juice, the juice from 1 lime, and 2 shots sparkling wine. Garnish with a lime wedge.
53. Pear Sparkler
Puree ½ a pear until liquefied and add to a champagne flute. Pour in 2 shots sparkling wine and add three slices of pear.
54. Sparkling Apricot Punch
In a glass, combine ½ cup diced apricots and ½ cup apricot juice (100 percent juice, please!). Add ½ cup sparkling wine and ¼ cup seltzer and stir to combine.
55. Mint Hot Chocolate
Heat 1 cup skim milk and stir in 1 packet light hot cocoa mix. Add 1 shot tequila and ⅓ shot peppermint schnapps. Top with foamed milk, and enjoy!
56. Irish Coffee
In a mug, combine 1 shot of whiskey, 1 teaspoon raw sugar, and ¾ cup hot coffee. Pour 1 tablespoon skim milk on top and don’t stir!
57. Mojito Tea
In a mug, combine 5 fresh mint leaves, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 black tea bag, and 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let stand 2 minutes. Remove tea bag and add 1shot of light rum and juice from ½ a lime. Remove mint leaves and enjoy!
58. Bitter Tea
Brew a cup of fruity black tea and stir in ½ shot bitters and 1 ½ shots pomegranate juice.
59. Mulled Wine
Over low heat, simmer ¾ cup fruity red wine, a pinch of orange zest, 2 whole cloves, 1 black peppercorn, 1 cinnamon stick, and a pinch of sugar. Heat for about 10 minutes, then strain and enjoy!
60. Hot Toddy
In a mug, combine 1 shot bourbon, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Pour in ¼ cup boiling water and stir to dissolve honey.
We hate to break it to you, but the calories in booze count. According to Alcohol Aware the humble pint contains as many of them as a large slice of pepperoni pizza. But that doesn’t mean you have to quit booze completely if you want to lose weight. You just need to learn the difference between low-calorie alcohols and the stuff that goes straight to your beer belly.
Cocktails often have the highest level of calories because of the sugary goodness that make them taste so delicious – a Manhattan has around 160 calories per drink and a Cosmopolitan around 200 calories per drink.
Your favourite beer isn’t far behind either, with an average of 149 calories per pint. Don’t forget also that when we drink our blood sugar levels struggle to stay balanced so in addition to the booze you’ll probably want to devour something nasty on the way home. And this is on top of the calories you consume for the same reason whilst hungover. Life is hard.
But fret not! You can still enjoy a drink (or six) without consuming the equivalent of 14 Krispy Kreme.
Take your spirits with low-sugar mixers
Unsurprisingly, straight spirits contain the least amount of calories as are nearly entirely ethanol without added sugar. Vodka is the alcohol with the lowest calories, at around 100 calories per shot (that’s a 50 ml double-measure). Whisky is slightly more, at roughly 110 calories a shot. Gin and tequila are also 110 calories a shot. More sugary spirits, like sambuca, come in around 160 calories a shot (another reason to avoid them, besides the taste). That said, those calorie values are for the neat spirit – you need to ensure you don’t mix your spirits with high-sugar mixers like Coke, Red Bull or lemonade, which you can get through at a rate on a night out without realising you’re drinking hundreds of calories.
If you can’t face endless shots of vodka then substitute your soft drink mixer with soda water or diet tonic which have very little sugar. Even water if you’re feeling particularly bulgy post-dinner.
Prosecco is around 70 calories per 100ml glass, compared to its more glamorous cousin Champagne, which comes in at roughly 95 calories per glass (it’s less expensive, too). Prosecco or champagne cocktails usually mask the sharpness of the sparkling wine with sugar, so avoid these and just drink the bubbly stuff on its own.
We’re not talking about the kind of cheap and not-so-cheerful Prosecco that you’d get included with an Oceana birthday table booking, either. Plenty of independent luxury booze brands, including Fiol Prosecco, are working hard to improve the reputation of the long-lamented drink. So give it a go.
Avoid sweet wines
Wine varies depending on the sweetness of the grape you choose, but a glass of red or white wine ranges on average from 84 to 90 calories. Dry wines contain minimal sugar and commonly have less than one gram of sugar per ounce. Comparatively, sweeter wines can be in excess of 2g per ounce, which will make a difference if you’re picking a bottle. Or three. Dry red grapes include Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Dry whites include Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio.
If you’re really committing to the new year’s diet, then there are plenty of low-calories options, too. Non-alcoholic and light wines, which generally come in at 0.5% ABV per glass, are improving in quality and are widely available from supermarkets (although you might have a harder time at restaurants).
Swallow your pride and buy light beer
If you can’t resist a cheeky pint (you #lad) then light beer is on average around 100 calories per can. This retains some of that flavour whilst saving about 50 calories compared to regular beer. However, a lot of diet beer also cuts out the alcohol meaning you need to drink twice the amount the get the same buzz – a fairly pointless idea. Check the alcohol percentage on diet beers don’t drop off dramatically or you may end up consuming more calories by drinking more quantities. There are plenty of brilliant craft options, but you’re more likely to find a Heineken Light (3.3%. 99 calories) or Coors Light (4.2%, 116 calories) in pubs and bars. If you can’t bring yourself to order a diet beer, Guinness is only 126 calories – slightly less than other beers which are usually around 150. Food for thought.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t turn to 0% beers if you’re just after the taste without any of the trouble. When it comes to varieties that are widely available in pubs, we’d opt for BrewDog’s Nanny State (0.5%) or Heineken 0.0. There’s been a rise in the amount of alcohol-free bars in the capital, too, but they mostly trade in high-sugar mocktails.
High alcohol/ low sugar cocktails
Feel like treating yourself but don’t want to blow the six-pack plan? Not all cocktails are created equal. Get to know the ones which are either short and strong so have a high percentage of alcohol with few sugary additions or those which you can substitute the sugar added for lower calorie options.
A mojito without sugar or sugar syrup – just soda, lime, mint and rum – is better for you. Good options for strong low sugar cocktails include a martini, an old fashioned or a negroni.
Just make sure you eat something first.
Alcohol can have a confusing effect on blood sugar levels because it prevents the liver from producing glucose. One consequence of this is that hypoglycemia can occur after a night of drinking.
As a result, people with diabetes are often advised to eat something to compensate for the expected drop in blood sugar levels Alcohol does affect different people in different ways so, if in doubt, test your blood glucose to see how alcohol affects you.
Some people may find it all too easy to let diabetes drift out of their mind when having alcohol and not worry too much about sugar levels.
However, it is advisable to test blood sugar levels whenever possible to get an idea of how different drinks affect your sugar levels
Regular lagers tend to typically vary in carbohydrate content from about 10 to 15g per pint.
Some ‘light’ beers may be better and have less than 10g of carbs per pint and some with less 5g of carbs.
Pilsners are thought to have a relatively benign effect on blood sugar, however, just as with any drink amongst this list, it’s best if you can test to be sure what effect they’re having on your blood glucose levels
Stouts, Porters and Guinness tend to be on the higher end of the carbohydrate spectrum amongst beers and can have upwards of 20g of carbohydrate per pint.
There are a wide variety of real ales covering pale ales through to porters. Real ales will typically have a carbohydrate content of 10 to 20g of carbs per pint.
Certain real ales may be given additional flavouring with extra sugar or honey so be prepared for the effect to vary with different beers.
Wines, fortified wines and champagnes
Red wine generally receives good press thanks to the certain chemical properties (polyphenol and resveratrol compounds) it contains.
As you’d expect, dry wines and champagnes will have a lower carbohydrate level than sweeter wines and champagnes.
A dry wine can have as low as 1-2g of carbohydrate in a modest sized glass (200ml) whereas a particularly sweet wine could have over 10g of carbs.
A medium sweetness wine is likely to have 5 to 10g of carbs per standard glass.
Fortified wines such as sherry and port tend to be sweeter than table wine. A glass of port could contain as much as 20g of carbs.
To keep carbohydrate content down, look for dry varieties.
Spirits and liqueurs
Spirits, such as gin, vodka, whiskey and even rum are highly distilled and should not contain sugars. With spirits the consideration is more on what they are mixed with.
Orange and other juices contain a relatively high amount of carbohydrate – about 20g in a small 200ml serving.
Even diet mixers can present problems when having a night out. Be careful that the bartender does serve you a diet version when you ask for it. Diabetics have often been incorrectly served full sugar versions despite trying to be clear.
Liqueurs, on the other hand, are more of a mixed bag and their carbohydrate values can vary considerably.
Creme de Menthen, Sambuca and Amaretto contain upwards of 15g of carbs per shot so be careful if you drink these. Kirsch, Irish Cream and Grand Marnier may be better options if you wish to have a liqueur, although these still contain as much as 10g of carbs per shot.
It’s worth re-stating at this point that alcohol drinks may lead to a delayed hypoglycemic effect so exercise caution, and wherever possible, test your blood glucose to be sure.
Besides terrible boy decisions and all-nighters, drinking is the no. 3 vice of college students. Frat houses are overflowing with Keystone Light, every cocktail has a mixer more sugary than a Sour Patch Kid, and the Freshman 15 extends through senior year.
Despite its rockstar qualities, recreational drinking is by no means healthy. Yes, it makes grinding in four inch heels doable and three slices of drunk-pizza edible. However, all the extra sugar leads to bloating (RIP crop tops) and a killer hangover even Advil can’t cure.
Here are a few “healthy” mixers to transform your night from a regrettable mess to a classy outing worthy of a Trader Joe’s newsletter feature, all with low-cost, effective drinks that keep off the weight and social awkwardness.
1. Diet Tonic Water
Forget Snoop Dogg’s Gin and Juice, Gin and diet tonic is healthier, tastier, and the adult version of Sprite. Gin is usually associated with old ladies and slippers (remember CeCe from Gossip Girl?!), but with the right mixer, it becomes an effortless treat. Most people mix gin with regular tonic loaded with sugar, calories, and sodium. However, diet tonic has no calories, sugar, and minimal sodium (25 mg per 8 fluid ounces).
2. LaCroix Water
I’m the queen of sober LaCroix water-drinking; add alcohol to the equation and I become a flippin’ world dominator. Because of it’s sparkling nature, La Croix spruces up liquors/wines and turns them into bubbling gold. I tried this Red Wine Spritzer recipe and added Berry LaCroix water to red wine — it was sparkling grape juice with all the pep but none of the extra sugars or fats.
3. Sugar-Free Cranberry Juice
Often times, a drink becomes “healthier” just by adding the sugar-free or reduced-sugar versions of juices and sodas. A Vodka Cranberry (or a fancier Cosmopolitan) doesn’t have to rot your teeth with processes sugars. Instead, buy Ocean Spray 100% Juice. There’s no sugar added and a serving is equivalent to one serving of fruit. See, it’s like living in the produce aisle.
4. Fennel (Or Other Medicinal) Tea
Steeping tea in beer is the newest hipster fad, so do it for the Snapstory and your health. The variation of Tea Beer I tried was Stella Artois mixed with fennel tea from Germany (it can also be purchased on Amazon). The light, musty qualities of Stella complimented the earthy fennel tones perfectly — I felt like Bilbo Baggins in his Shire home. Fennel has a slew of health benefits including improving digestion, balancing hormones, and boosting immunity.
5. Coconut Water
My tongue despises coconut water on its own, but it’s also dangerously fond of girly cocktails and gin. I tried this Sparkling Strawberry Gin Cocktail and was surprised at how easy and flavorful it was. Gin, coconut water, fresh strawberries, and a splash of sparkling water, in total, around 230 calories (which isn’t bad for a mixed drink with fresh fruit). Coconut water is a great source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and anti-oxidants.
6. Guinness Stout
Who knew Irish beers could be “healthy” mixers? Although I use that term loosely, Guinness has reputation for being a less trashy beer health-wise. At 125 calories per 12 oz pint and made with roasted barley malt (fiber and anti-oxidant benefits), this stout surpasses Corona and Miller any day.
Guinness can be mixed with champagne to make a Black Velvet or as a component of a White Russian. Don’t forget to shake the can to hear the whistle of a nitrogen widget.
7. Reduced Sugar Orange Juice
Colorful mixers automatically make a drink sexy, flirtatious, and delicious (it’s all the high fructose corn syrup and calories that dress it down). Screwdrivers, a combo of orange juice and vodka, is simple but deceiving— throwing in regular “orange juice” doesn’t make a drink healthy.
Eight ounces contains 25 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of sugar, and 110 calories. Slim it down with the sugar-free/light version and still flirt with the vitamins and minerals.
8. Aloe Vera and Honey
This isn’t for the Budweiser, regular rum punch-palates out there. Sophisticated and cool, these ingredients are anti-inflammatory and photogenic. Thank Pinterest for helping me find Aloe Vera Margaritas, drinks with honey, aloe vera, tequila, and salt. Honey is a natural sweetener without any of the processed goo – and it goes great with any light, summery cocktail.
You don’t need sugary sodas (@Jack and Coke) or from-the-can pineapple juice to bear the burn of Svedka or Jose Cuervo. Personally, I’m a “shots girl,” although ditching the calories and embracing the wincing face/raw throat isn’t exactly optimal either.
Like bralettes and waterproof mascara, healthy mixers will always be there for you — they won’t wreck your body AND they make drinking a little more tolerable, no kale or spinach juice needed. Bottoms up!
ABOUT US | Scales Cocktails is a line of zero carb, zero sugar and low sodium cocktail mixers. The products were created with folks in mind who for one reason or another are mindful of their diet! These include diabetics, folks who are gluten intolerant, have celiac disease, are on Weight Watchers, Atkins, sugar free, or carb free diets, people who sensitive to MSG as well has the consumers that wants to EAT THEIR CALORIES NOT DRINK THEM! The mixes have been enjoyed by Kathie Lee and Hoda on the TODAY show, voted “Best of the South” by Southern Living Magazine, touted Best Bloody Mary by SELF magazine, Best Sugar Free mixes by New York Times Best selling Author Colette Heimowitz in her Atkins Made Easy Diet Book.
Our biggest touts of all was said to us by the buyer of one of the largest grocery chains word wide… she said Scales Cocktails is now “driving the market” toward healthier ways to enjoy your favorite mixes. Read more
IN THE NEWS | We are thrilled to have been featured in some of the most prominent publications, TV shows and more. See who’s been mixing it up with Scales. Read more
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Refine Margarita Mixers /sugar-free
Our zesty Margarita Mix is the perfect blend of lemon and lime. Not too sweet and just tart enough to make your lips pucker slightly – add tequila, sip slowly, and transport your taste buds beachside!2 parts refine™ Margarita Mix1 part tequilaPour into ice filled, salt rimmed glassGarnish with lime wedgeAt refine™ mixers, we take pride in being innovative and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. That’s why we created the first all-natural, sugar-free and zero-calorie cocktail mixers for people like us! Say good-bye to the boring days of diet tonic and club soda. Forget your worries about high fructose corn syrup, sugar and artificial ingredients. Instead, say hello to refine™ – refreshingly great taste and a new way to enjoy your favorite cocktails!While many cocktails contain 300-500 calories, a refine™ cocktail contains roughly 100 calories – all calories coming from alcohol.While many mixers contain high fructose corn syrup or sugar, refine™ mixers are made with stevia – an all-natural and zero calorie herbal sweetener.Think about this the next time you crave your favorite cocktail!Naturally SweetZero calories and all-natural, refine™ mixers are the first cocktail mixers to incorporate stevia and its unique consumer benefits. Stevia, the first ever FDA-approved all-natural, zero calorie sweetener, is a plant native to South America that has been used as an herbal sweetener for hundreds of years. Our favorite part? Stevia contains zero calories and has zero impact on blood glucose levels, offering cocktail enthusiasts a new way to drink responsibly.