It’s still that time of the year where parties are abundant, with some involving a nice spread of your favourite or popular cocktails. While many of these alcoholic beverages contain a lot of calories and sugar, they don’t have to be a downer for your diet when they’re made healthier or low calorie. Drink wisely with these smart strategies!
1. Sangria (258 calories, 25 g sugar in 355 ml)
Prepared with antioxidant-rich red wine and fruit, sangria may seem like a smart choice. But many recipes also call for sugar, soda or juice, and spirits, like triple sec or brandy.
Make it healthier: Opt for a glass of red wine (125 calories) or create your own 100-calorie punch with 120 ml of red wine, plus diet lemon-lime soda, orange slices and berries.
2. Gin and Tonic (164 calories, 17 g sugar in 235 ml)
The standard shot (a 45 ml serving) of gin has 97 calories and no sugar. But fill that glass with tonic water and you’ll end up consuming 4 teaspoons of the sweet stuff.
Make it healthier: Trade the tonic for club soda, seltzer, or diet tonic and wedge of lime to shave off nearly 70 calories. Also request for a brand of gin that’s 80 proof rather than 90 or 100 proof. The higher alcohol content can tack another 27 calories onto your drink.
3. Frozen strawberry margarita (564 calories, 16 g sugar in 355 ml)
Just because there’s fruit in that name doesn’t mean it’s good for you; most restaurant versions are made with a sugary syrup and are seriously oversized. One of these slushy drinks packs in more calories than two bags of Skittles.
Make it healthier: Order a plain margarita on the rocks to save up to 300 calories. Also, ask for one with no salt: That dusted rim may provide more than 2000 miligrams of sodium, nearly your entire daily allowances.
4. Mojito (242 calories, 25 g sugar in 235 ml)
This Cuban cocktail (a blend of rum, sugar, mint leaves, lime juice and club soda) can harm your waistline and sap your energy, since sweet drinks may up your risk for having a hangover.
Make it healthier: Ask the bartender to cut back on the sugar by a third and add a few extra splashes of club soda to lower the calorie count. At home, swap the sweetener for a low- or no-cal one, like stevia.
5. Beer (156 calories, 0 g sugar in 355 ml)
A single bear won’t do much dietary damage, but few people stop at one when they’re socialising.
Make it healthier: Order a brew in a bottle rather than one that’s on tap. Research shows that bartenders ten to over-pour draft beers by 22%.