There’s just something so wonderful about sitting outside in the sun and enjoying a cold cocktail. Besides being able to run, bike, swim and be active outside, having a cold one in the sun is one of my favorite things about warm spring and summer days. 

However, alcoholic drinks can be a total diet nightmare. Calories from alcohol can really up quickly! Margaritas can have 600 calories or more and mixed drinks can cost you a few hundred calories each! 

Luckily, there are plenty of low-cal cocktails that taste absolutely delicious.

Here are my favorites:

Vodka Soda. It’s light and refreshing and has about 100 calories per serving. Add a squeeze of lime to give it a little more flavor. Sometimes I like to change up my vodka sodas by using flavored sparkling water like the kind by La Croix. 

Vodka Soda with a Splash. When I’m feeling a little sassy, I add a splash of cranberry juice or other juice to my vodka soda. It only adds a few more calories, but adds lots of flavor.

Champagne Cocktail

Champagne Cocktails. Champagne is a very low-calorie option with about 90 calories per serving. I like to make champagne cocktails – champagne with a bit of 100% fruit juice. I like cranberry juice (shown above), pineapple juice, orange juice (mimosas) or grapefruit juice. Add raspberries and blueberries for a patriotic theme. Sometimes I serve champagne cocktails over ice to make them last a little longer.Pro tip: Buy four packs of mini champagne bottles so that you can just make one cocktail. Once you open a full size bottle of champagne, you have to drink it all!

Homemade Margarita

Homemade Margarita. I’m not a fan of margarita mixes. They are too sweet and often contain high fructose corn syrup. Ick! Making a simple margarita at home is so easy! I like mine without a sweetener, but it’s pretty hardcore. Add a touch of honey to give it a naturally sweet flavor. I also like to add fresh fruit to my margarita. Tequila soaked fruit is quite tasty!

How to Make:

  • 2 oz. tequila
  • 2 oz. orange liqeur such as Cointreau
  • lime juice to taste
  • ice
  • honey, optional

Combine ingredients and serve on the rocks or add ingredients to blender for a blended margarita. Find more margarita recipes on my blog, Sweet Success!

Pre-Made Low-Cal Cocktails. If you want something a bit more convenient, go for Skinnygirl cocktails. They come in tons of flavors including Margarita, White Peach Margarita, Sangria, Sweet n’ Tart Grapefruit Margarita, Mojito, Pina Colada and White Cranberry Cosmo. I also recently picked up a Tres Agaves Organic Margarita Mix that you add tequila to. If you’re buying a pre-made cocktail or mixer, make sure it’s free of high fructose corn syrup and not too high in sugar!

If you’re more of a beer drinker than a cocktail queen, I suggest being a bit of a beer snob. Most light beer has between 90 and 120 calories. Unless you go with those super light beers such as Budweiser Select 55, which has 55 calories. If you really want to save cals (or plan to have more than a couple), go for light beer. But if you really enjoy beer and only plan to have one or two beers, go for a microbrew or another full-flavored beer. They have more calories, but the flavor difference is vast. I really like Newcastle (138 cals per 12 oz.) or Shiner Bock (140 cals per 12 oz.).

How do you plan to celebrate Memorial Weekend?

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Sara Giboney

Sara Giboney is a health coach and certified group fitness instructor living in Kearney, Nebraska. She offers one-on-one health coaching services in-person and virtually, and wellness workshops in Nebraska communities and businesses. A self-proclaimed dessert addict, Sara shares some of the recipes that satisfy her sweet tooth without sabotaging her health goals on her blog, Sweet Success. The blog features easy and nutritious recipes, healthy eating and fitness tips, at-home workouts and strategies for implementing self-care into your daily life. Connect with Sara! Twitter - Instagram - @saragiboney Facebook - Sweet Success Blog Pinterest - Sara Giboney Google+ - Sweet Success