8 Ways to Make a Skinny Cocktail

By NY Barfly
Created March 6, 2017
Don't let sugar-laden beverages cut into your New Year's resolution or your social life. MORE+ LESS-

It’s easy to chalk up those extra pounds to too much pizza or all those fries, but what’s in your glass can also pack on the pounds.

It’s a new year, and you know what that means: time to focus on losing that holiday weight. A single margarita can contain almost 600 calories, and do you ever really have just one? If you don’t want to cut out booze entirely, make those cocktails skinny. With a few recipe tweaks and mixer substitutions, you can significantly cut the calorie impact and still enjoy a tipple or two.

1. Skip the Sour Mix

Step one of skinny cocktails is to put that store-bought sour mix back on the shelf. It’s loaded with extra calories, and you can just use all-natural lime juice in its place. Or, you can get creative and try these lower calorie grapefruit margaritas.

2. Use a Sugar Alternative

Simple syrup, essentially liquid sugar, is used to sweet a variety of mixed drinks. It may taste good, but it’s a calorie bomb, with 50 calories per serving (and a healthy squeeze contains more than that). Try making your sweet drinks with a sugar substitute – it may not taste exactly the same, but your waistline will be happy. For example, try the Lemon Ginger-ini. This recipe includes a link to how to make your own simple syrup. Just swap out the sugar for your favorite sugar substitute.

3. Use Diet Soda

This one may seem like a no brainer, but if someone else is making your drink for you, you should make sure to specify a diet variety of the mixer. A standard rum and coke can have over 250 calories while a rum and diet has less than 100.

4. Or Skip Soda All Together

An easy strategy to avoid the cocktail version of a beer belly is to get creative with mixers. If rum is your drink, how about a rum and coconut water? Coconut water, and other no-calorie flavored waters, can be used to create a number of tasty libations and you won’t have to work any harder at the gym the next day.

5. Add Fizz With Club Soda


A lot of recipes call for a dash of champagne to add a little fizz to your drink. Diet conscious drinkers should add a different sort of bubbly: club soda. Using it in drinks like this Skinny Clementine Martini knocks of some calories without losing the bubbles.

6. Use Fresh Fruit

Skip the store-brought juices (and their long lists of ingredients) and make your own juice from fresh fruit. The natural sugars in the fresh fruit will offer a nice sweet kick and even provide a bit of nutrition. And let’s face it, the fresh blueberries in this skinny daiquiri taste better than any juice substitute.

7. Soda vs. Tonic

A traditional gin and tonic can’t be beat, and a vodka tonic is a lot of people’s go-to drink. There is sad news though. Even though that tonic seems super light, it has over 100 calories per serving. If you can switch to club soda, the only calories you’ll have to worry about are the ones in the booze (and we’re thinking you don’t want to get rid of that ingredient).

8. If You Need To Save Time, Get the Skinny Mixers

If you are in a pinch for time and can’t use fresh fruit or natural mixers, a number of companies offer skinny varieties of pre-made cocktail mixers, like these. While it’s often the case that these contain more a calories than a fresh cocktail, the skinny mixers are a viable alternative when you’re in a rush.

Best of luck on your resolutions and keep sipping!

nybarfly knows his drinks and also where to get the best sauce in Manhattan. Check out his blog site, NYBarfly and his Tablespoon profile — be sure to continue to check Rock UR Party for more tips and suggestions for discovering new bevvies.