The 5 Healthiest Cocktails

    A margarita in a blue rimmed glass surrounded by limesYou’re trying to eat (and drink) healthy. But…it’s hard to pass up that well-earned cocktail at the end of a tough week.

    Good news: there’s no reason to!

    Straight liquor, though not so tasty, is healthiest if served neat (alone with no mixer) or on the rocks (with a little ice). That means vodka, gin, whiskey, and scotch are all fair game. It’s the clearer types of alcohol, however, that go easier on the body. They also go easier on calories. One serving of vodka contains only 97 calories and zero carbs, while a serving of gin has about 110 calories and zero carbs. Whiskey and Scotch actually are very close in calories to gin and vodka.

    Although liquor served neat or on the rocks usually comes as a double shot, the whole point is to drink them moderately. Even though mixers taste really good, one serving of pineapple juice adds on an extra 133 calories and 32 grams of carbs, while ginger ale has 124 calories and also 32 grams of carbs

    Here are some healthier ways to get your drink on…

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    Cosmo

    For a healthier cosmopolitan, trade a little of the liquor for club soda. In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 shot (about 2 ounces) of citrus-flavored vodka, 1 splash of club soda, 1 splash of cranberry juice, and the juice of 1 lime wedge; shake well and strain into a chilled martini glass.

    Margarita

    A margarita can be a low-calorie cocktail. The classic margarita recipe simply calls for tequila, lime juice, and a tiny bit of agave syrup or Cointreau. The most important thing is to skip pre-made mixes. Don’t be afraid to ask the bartender to just use fresh lime juice and a splash of simple syrup instead of a mix.

    Peach Mocktail

    For those of you who don’t want to, or can’t, drink alcohol, here’s a “mocktail” just for you: Combine 1 shot (about 2 ounces) each of peach juice and club soda and 1 splash each of orange juice and lemonade in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Strain into glass of choice and garnish with cherries and an orange wedge.

    Mojito

    Love this Cuban cocktail, but hate the calories? Fill a martini shaker with 1 cup ice. Add 6 lime wedges, 1 1/2 tbsp of lime juice, and 2 tbsp of torn fresh mint leaves. Muddle lime and mint with a pestle or a long spoon until well-bruised and fragrant.

    Next, combine 1/2 tsp of warmed honey, 2 ounces of rum, and 4 ounces of club soda; stir gently to dissolve honey. Add to muddled mixture; stir until mixture is well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice; garnish with mint and lime.

    Sangria

    Festive and sweet, sangria can be a perfect cocktail for a little healthy indulgence. Slice 4 apples and 3 oranges, and combine with 1 pound of red grapes, halved, 3 bottles of your choice of red wine, one can of Fresca (or any other type of lemon soda), and 1 can of club soda. Chill mixture and serve over ice.

    Cheers!

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