24.06.2024

How to save yourself 230 calories… just by swapping your cocktail!

Heading out for a night of luxurious cocktails is a great weekend treat. But what about those weeks when you’re trying to cut back on the calories?

Some of the best-loved tipples are hugely calorific, with a single Long Island iced tea containing up to 780kcal — more than a Bic Mac and fries.

However, there are ways of enjoying an alcoholic drink even when you’re watching your waistline, by simply swapping your cocktail for a ‘skinnier’ alternative.

From coconut mojitos to espresso martinis, here is MailOnline’s guide to lower-calorie cocktails swaps.

From coconut mojitos to espresso martinis, here is MailOnline's guide to lower-calorie cocktails swaps

Swap a Pina Colada (490kcal) for a Coconut Mojito (180kcal)

The Pina Colada is a rich, creamy cocktail that can have a high calorie count as rich coconut cream and high in sugar pineapple juice are its key ingredients.

But Laura Stagg, head of marketing at DrinkStuff, has a solution.

She suggests going for the lighter alternative of a Coconut Mojito, which she says still offers a ‘tropical vibe’.

It is made with coconut water, fresh lime juice, mint leaves, and white rum, and Ms Stagg calls this cocktail a ‘refreshing and low-calorie option’.

Swap a Long Island iced tea (780kcal) for a Tom Collins (120kcal)

Long Island iced tea is a seriously potent cocktail — containing vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, sour mix, and cola.

But it’s also majorly calorie-dense, says Ms Stagg, with a whopping 780kcal.

This is because triple sec contains around 10g of sugar per measure, while a can of coca cola has 10.6g.

She suggests you opt for a Tom Collins instead — a classic drink made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.

‘It has a similar citrusy flavour profile but with significantly fewer calories,’ she adds.

Swap White Russian (425kcal) for an Espresso Martini (230kcal)

Creamy White Russian’s are ideal when you’re looking for a little luxury.

But their high calorie count, due to the combination of vodka, coffee liqueur, and heavy cream, means you may not want to drink them all the time.

For a lighter coffee-based cocktail, Ms Stagg recommends you try an Espresso Martini instead.

Made with vodka, coffee liqueur and a shot of espresso — this sophisticated option comes in at almost 200 calories less than the White Russian, but with similar flavours.

Swap a Pornstar Martini (290kcal) for a Dirty Martini (114 calories)

If you’re a fan of martinis, you should avoid any with added syrups and flavouring.

Aoife Taylor, lead mixologist at Rockwater in Hove, has the perfect suggestion for days when the 290 calories in a Pornstar Martini is a bit too much.

She recommends a Dirty Martini — a version of the James Bond cocktail that also comes classic, dry or sweet.

It gets its name as it contains olive brine, as well as dry gin and vermouth.

Ms Taylor says keeping your martinis simple is the best way to reduce the calorie count.

Long Island iced tea is a seriously potent cocktail - containing vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, sour mix, and cola. But it's also majorly calorie-dense

Ms Stagg suggests you opt for a Tom Collins instead - a classic drink made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water

Long Island iced tea is a seriously potent cocktail — containing vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec, sour mix, and cola. But it’s also majorly calorie-dense, says Ms Stagg, with a whopping 780kcal. She suggests you opt for a Tom Collins instead — a classic drink made with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and soda water.

Swap a Paloma (194kcal) for a tequila and grapefruit soda (117kcal)

Staying on the tequila train, Ms Taylor has a low-calorie alternative for the delicious Paloma — tequila, grapefruit, Cointreau, soda and sugar.

She suggests you instead have a tequila and grapefruit soda. ‘[Netherlands-based drinks company] Double Dutch do a great one’, she says.

While a Paloma comes in at 194 calories, a tequila and grapefruit soda has around 70 less, with 117kcal.

Swap a Sangria (160kcal) to Pimms and diet lemonade (120kcal)

It’s a dream to drink this classic Spanish cocktail alongside some tapas.

But while Sangria is packed with fruit and may appear to be on the healthier side, there are lower calorie alternatives.

And Tom Bell, a drinks expert at DrinkWell, has picked the British favourite Pimm’s and diet lemonade.

Known for its unfaltering position as Wimbledon’s drink of choice, Mr Bell this is the perfect Sangria alternative — coming in at 40 calories less.

You even switch the lemonade for tonic if you prefer a more bitter taste and even fewer calories.

Swap a Strawberry Daiquiri (400kcal) for a Margarita (170kcal)

Nothing screams ‘summer holiday’ like a fruity cocktail on the beach.

But sadly, one of the most popular choices, a strawberry daiquiri, which contains rum, strawberries, lime juice and sugar syrup, comes with a huge calorie count.

Some contain more than 400 calories per drink, says Mr Bell.

He suggest you opt for the much lighter tequila option — a margarita, made with tequila, triple sec and lime juice, which on average has around 170 calories per drink.

Low-cal cocktail recipes for a guilt-free night in

The Bucha Mule (56.5kcal)

Ingredients

  • 25ml vodka
  • 2 x lime wedges
  • 125ml Remedy Kombucha Ginger Lemon
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters
  • Lemon and lime wedges to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Pour vodka and lime juice into a tall glass with ice. Top with Remedy Kombucha and a dash of bitters. Garnish with lemon & lime wedges.

Baileys Flat Martini Cocktail (160kcal)

Ingredients

  • 50ml Baileys Deliciously Light
  • One to two shots of fresh espresso
  • 25ml vodka
  • Coffee beans to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Add ice into a cocktail shaker. Add 50ml of Baileys Deliciously Light, 25ml of vodka and one to two shots of fresh espresso. Shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

Raspberry Caipirinha (120kcal)

Ingredients

  • 25ml Abelha Silver (cachaca)
  • 15ml British Framboise (raspberry liqueur)
  • Four raspberries
  • 5ml agave syrup
  • Juice of one lime
  • Ice

Directions

Muddle lime juice, raspberries and agave syrup in a shaker. Add ice, Abelha Silver and British Framboise. Shake well and strain into a short glass.

Cosmo Highball (175kcal)

Ingredients

  • 20ml London dry gin
  • 15ml Cointreau
  • 10ml lime juice
  • 125ml chilled Pomelo & Pink Pepper London Essence Tonic water
  • Rose petals, to garnish

Directions

Fill a highball glass with ice. Pour over the gin, Cointreau, lime juice and tonic. Garnish and serve.

Blackcurrant Lo-jito (124kcal)

Ingredients

  • 25ml El Dorado 3yo rum
  • 15ml White Heron British Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur)
  • 5ml agave syrup
  • Small handful of mint leaves
  • Juice of one lime
  • Ice
  • Soda water to top

Directions

Muddle the lime juice, White Heron British Cassis, Agave syrup and mint. Add ice. Pour over the rum, stir. Top with soda water. Garnish with more mint.

Low alcohol French 75 (49kcal)

Ingredients

  • 2.5ml Smidgin spirit
  • 15ml fresh lemon juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  • Freixenet 0.0% Alcohol Free Sparkling wine to top
  • Lemon peel to garnish
  • Ice

Directions

Add Smidgin, lemon juice and sugar syrup into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. Strain and pour into a flute glass. Top up with alcohol free sparkling wine. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

Apricot Rum Sour (115kcal)

Ingredients

  • 25ml Goslings rum
  • 15ml apricot liqueur
  • 20ml fresh lemon juice
  • 5ml agave syrup
  • 20ml aquafaba (chickpea water)
  • Lime and pineapple slices to garnish (optional)

Directions

Add all the ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Double-strain into a chilled rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with lime and pineapple slices.

Axia Espresso Martini (189kcal)

Ingredients

  • 45ml Axia spirit
  • 25ml espresso
  • 20ml coffee liqueur
  • Coffee beans to garnish

Directions

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake. Double-strain in a chilled martini glass. Garnish with coffee beans.

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