Fruity alcoholic concoctions used to be high on my list of summer drinks, especially when lounging poolside (pina colada anyone?), but now that I’m a certain age and the pounds don’t come off as easily, I tend to stick to lower calorie drinks such as wine or champagne, both of which clock in around the 100 calorie mark. Lately, though, thanks to all the “googling” I do on the internet, I’ve found it’s possible to enjoy lighter version cocktails that remind me of my old ways, yet keep me bathing suit ready. The only problem? Sticking to just one. Here, some recipes to heat up your summer entertaining.
Low-Carb Cosmo (from about.com)
1 jigger (1.5 oz or 3 tablespoons) Citron vodka or regular vodka (nutritional analysis uses 80 proof)
1 oz (2 tablespoons) diet cranberry juice (NOT “light” — it must say diet) OR 2 teaspoons unsweetened cranberry juice and 2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lime juice (fresh preferred)
2 to 3 drops orange extract
2 to 4 teaspoons sugar equivalent in artificial sweetener (to taste), liquid preferred
Prep: Put the ingredients in a cocktail shaker half-full of ice. Shake well. Taste for sweetness if using unsweetened cranberry juice, which is highly variable. You may need to add sweetener. Strain into a Martini glass. Garnish with a small lime wedge or curl of lime peel.
Mojito (from fitsugar)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 mint sprigs
1.5 ounces light rum
Prep: Put the sugar in a highball glass (or any 8- to 12-ounce glass), squeeze in the juice of 1/2 small lime, and toss in the squeezed lime shell. Add mint sprigs and muddle for a moment. Then add the light rum and handful of ice, and fill with chilled soda water
Sangria (from Low Calorie Headquarters)
4 packets Splenda
4 tbsp water
Fresh orange slices
Fresh lemon slices
Fresh lime slices
Fresh peach slices
1 bottle wine
Prep: Dissolve Splenda into water. Add to pitcher, with fruit slices and grapes (white for red wine, red for white wine), and bottle of wine. Stir, then chill. Top pitcher with drizzle of club soda just before serving.
Pina Colada Cooler (reprinted from Fitness Magazine)
1 1/2 ounces coconut-flavored rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
4 ounces sparkling water
1 tablespoon of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut Lite (found in the drink mixers section of many supermarkets)
Prep: Pour ingredients over ice and stir.
Mimosa Lite (reprinted from Fitness Magazine)
2 ounces Minute Maid Light Orange Tangerine Juice
4 ounces champagne
Juice of 1/2 medium-size orange, or 1 to 2 ounces
Prep: Add several ice cubes to a tall glass. Squeeze the juice of the orange into the glass. Pour in orange tangerine juice, followed by champagne. Stir. Garnish with fresh orange rinds, curled.
Skinny Arnold Palmer (From Health.com)
1 shot Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka,
Sugar-free lemonade (Minute Maid Light or Crystal Light),
Lemon wedge for garnish
Prep: Fill 1 glass with ice, pour 1 shot of Firefly, fill glass with light lemonade, and garnish with lemon wedge.
Frozen Fruit Twist (from Health.com)
Diet lemon-lime soda
Prep: Put ice in a glass with 2 frozen strawberries, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of orange juice, fill with diet lemon-lime soda.