Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are here. It’s the perfect time for refreshing summer cocktails at the end of a warm summer day! But whether you’re on vacation or mixing up summer cocktails at home, some of the most popular summer cocktails have add a lot of unwanted calories and sugar.

We know that moderate alcohol consumption–which is 1 drink a day for ladies and 2 drinks a day for men–can be beneficial to heart health. But we still need to choose sensible sippers.

Margaritas:

Depending on the size, a margarita on the rocks can run from 250 to 500 calories, while a single frozen margarita comes in at a whopping 300 to 900 calories!

My skinny Pomegranate Margarita:

  • Cuts the calories in half to just 180 calories!
  • Contains half the sugar of a regular margarita.
  • Includes pomegranate juice, which is higher in antioxidants than red wine, grape juice, or green tea. This 8-ounce bottle of POM Wonderful contains two whole pomegranates with no added sugars, fillers, or preservatives!
  • Contains antioxidants, which have been shown to boost brain and gut health and improve athletic performance.

So how do you make this slimmed down, antioxidant-boosted beverage?

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. pomegranate juice
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 2 oz. club soda

Directions:

Stir or shake tequila, pomegranate juice, and lime juice. Pour over ice, and top with club soda. Garnish with a lime wedge, if desired. And since we are talking about healthier summer cocktails, skip the salt rim! The salt adds to your daily sodium intake and may cause water retention.

Pina Coladas:

Do you like Pina Coladas?

A traditional 12 oz. pina colada can set you back more than 660 calories 80 grams of sugar!  You can significantly cut the calories and sugar and still keep the rum! The trick is to serve the pina colada on the rocks.

To take a trip to the tropics, mix together:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Malibu rum
  • 2 oz. light coconut milk
  • 2 oz. fresh pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks

Pour over ice, and top with 1 oz. club soda.

This lightened up version has only 140 calories and doesn’t require added sugars because pineapple juice is so naturally sweet.  Plus, pineapple juice is a great source of vitamin C—a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Sangria Spritzer

If you’re a wine drinker, you’re likely going with a white wine over red on a hot summer day.

While a 6 oz. pour of white wine only has 140 calories, you can get away with having two of my white wine sangria spritzers for the same amount of alcohol and calories because this White Sangria Spritzer is ½ wine and ½ calorie-free club soda!

I like to add ¼ cup frozen fruit like frozen grapes, blueberries or strawberries for some additional flavor and fiber.

It’s a good way to extend your drinking time at social events without over doing your alcohol quota. You can also enjoy the wine-soaked fruit for a sweet and semi-boozy ending.

Let us know what you think, friends! And be sure to chime in with your go-to summer cocktail orders!

Cheers!

two women holding margaritas

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.