The season for celebrating is upon us, which means you probably have more occasions to drink than usual. If you’re trying to watch your calorie intake, every cocktail menu is full of options that can add empty calories to your daily goal. So, here are 10 tasty cocktails that are all less than 200 calories. Whether you like gin, rum, tequila, or whiskey, there’s a beverage for you below—and they’re all easy to mix up at home.
10. Gimlet: 178 calories
If gin is your liquor of choice, go with a classic gimlet at the bar. This drink combines a splash of Rose’s Sweetened Lime Juice with your favorite liquor—and that’s it. To cut even more calories, skip the pre-bought juice and add simple syrup and fresh-squeezed lime instead.
- Makes 1 drink
- 2 ounces (1/4 cup) gin
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) Rose’s lime juice, or to taste
- 1 lime slice
- In a cocktail glass filled with the ice combine the gin and the lime juice, stir the drink well, and garnish it with the lime.
9. Martini: 176 calories
This classic martini is a mix of vermouth and gin. Asking your bartender to make it dry, means you’ll get less vermouth and more liquor. Olives, optional.
- Makes 1 drink
- Cracked ice
- 2 1/2 ounces London dry gin, such as Beefeater
- 1/2 ounce dry vermouth, preferably Noilly Prat
- Green olive for garnish
- In mixing glass or cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine gin and vermouth. Stir well, about 20 seconds, then strain into martini glass. Garnish with olive and serve.
8. Mojito: 168 calories
Rum drinkers will want to avoid some of the popular cocktails like a mai tai or LIT. Instead ask for a minty mojito at the open bar. This drink is a mix of sugar, muddled mint leaves, and lime. Order this refreshing sip when you’re looking for something sweet, not syrupy.
- Serves 1
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) fresh lime juice
- 2 heaping teaspoons superfine sugar
- 1 cup crushed ice
- 12 fresh mint leaves, plus 5 small sprigs for garnish
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) white rum
- 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) club soda
- In 10-ounce glass (such as Collins or highball), stir together lime juice and sugar until sugar dissolves. Add 1/4 cup crushed ice. Rub mint leaves over rim of glass, then tear leaves in half and add to glass. Gently stir for 15 seconds, then add rum, remaining crushed ice, and club soda. Gently stir for 5 seconds, then tuck mint sprigs into top of glass and insert tall straw.
7. Paloma: 166 calories
Tequila lovers will have to pass on the margaritas to shed calories, but a paloma is the next best thing. This drink is a blend of grapefruit juice, soda, and lime. Skip the sugar or salt around the rum for an even healthier after-five refreshment.
SERVINGS: MAKES 1
- Kosher salt
- 1 grapefruit wedge
- ¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup mescal or tequila
- ¼ cup club soda
- Pour some kosher salt on a plate. Rub half of rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge; dip rim of glass in salt. Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar in glass; stir until sugar is dissolved. Stir in mescal, add ice, and top off with club soda. Garnish with grapefruit wedge.
6. Old Fashioned: 154 calories
If you don’t like to drink your bourbon straight, request an old fashioned at the bar. This cocktail has a splash of bitters to add flavor (without tacking on too many calories) and a bit of sugar.
- Serves 1
- 1 scant teaspoon simple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura Bitters, plus more to taste
- 1 half dollar–sized slice orange peel, including pith
- 2 ounces good-quality rye or bourbon
- 1 maraschino cherry
- In old-fashioned glass, combine simple syrup and bitters. Fill glass halfway with ice, then stir about a dozen times. Add enough ice to fill glass. Squeeze orange peel over glass to extract oils, add peel to glass, and add whiskey. Stir just until drink is cold and alcoholic bite has softened, about a dozen times. Garnish with cherry, swizzle stick, and straw.
5. Gin and Tonic: 148 calories
With tonic counting for only 10 calories an ounce, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a top-shelf gin (or vodka).
My Perfect G&T Recipe
2 ounces gin
2 ounces tonic
4 ounces club soda
1 lime wedge or twist if you prefer
Fill a glass with ice. Add the gin, tonic and club soda. Stir and garnish with the lime wedge or twist. Enjoy.
4. Sazerac: 136 calories
Whiskey drinkers who know best order a sazerac at the bar. This addition of bitters, absinth, sugar, and water smoothes out the bite of the liquor, without skyrocketing the calorie number.
- Makes 1 drink
- 1 cube or 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 4 dashes Peychaud Bitters
- Splash water, about 1/2 teaspoon
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- Splash Herbsaint (or Pernod), about 1/2 teaspoon
- Lemon peel for garnish
- In old-fashioned glass, add ice and set aside. In another, combine sugar, bitters, and water. Muddle until sugar is completely dissolved. Add rye whiskey, fill with ice, and stir well, about 15 seconds. From first glass, discard ice, then add Herbsaint. Holding glass horizontally, turn it so that Herbsaint completely coats the interior. Discard any excess. Strain contents of second glass into chilled glass. Twist lemon peel directly over drink to release essential oils, and serve.
3. Vodka Soda: 96 calories
Ordering a vodka soda at the bar will cut down on your calories sipped for the night. Since soda water has zero calories, all you have to account for is the alcohol. Go ahead, and order another round.
2. Rum and Diet: 96 calories
Satisfy your taste for soda with a rum and Diet Coke at happy hour. Calorie-wise all you have to count is the 1.5 ounces of rum. However beware the high levels of caffeine, which might keep you up well past your bedtime.
1. Champagne: 90 calories
Champagne and champagne-related cocktails are some of the most forgiving in the calorie department. One standard flute (about 4 oz.) rings in far less than a glass of wine or any mixed drink.