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Low-Calorie Drink Recipes

Make your happy hour healthier with these refreshing, low-calorie alcoholic and nonalcoholic cocktails.

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Frozen lime margarita
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Sangria Sparkler

Sharing a pitcher of sangria with friends is a great way to kick off summer. Sliced oranges are a traditional addition to this refreshing Spanish beverage. With their bright red flesh, blood oranges give extra impact.

Prep: 10 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Makes: 12 servings

750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
1 cup light orange juice
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium oranges, sliced
2 cups club soda, chilled
Crushed ice and/or orange peel curls (optional)

1. In a large pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, brandy, orange liqueur, sugar, and orange slices. Chill at least 2 hours. Add club soda before serving. Serve over crushed ice and/or with orange peel curls, if desired.

Nutrition Information per serving: 100 calories, 0g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

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Mojito Fresco

The popular Cuban cocktail's combination of sweetness, citrus, and refreshing mint is the best way to fend off the summer heat wave.

Prep: 20 minutes
Chill: 1 hour
Makes: 8 servings

2 large limes, cut into pieces (reserve one piece)
2 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
2 cups water
1/4 to 1/2 cup light rum
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
Ice cubes
Quartered limes and/or mint leaves (optional)

1. In a blender combine lime pieces, 2 cups water, and 2/3 cup sugar. Cover and blend about 30 seconds or until limes are chopped; do not puree. Strain through a sieve into a large pitcher. Mix in 2 cups additional water. Cover and chill for 1 to 12 hours.

2. Stir rum into lime mixture. Moisten the rims of 8 glasses with the reserved lime piece; dip rims in sugar. Divide mint among glasses. Use a wooden spoon to press mint into the bottom of each glass; press firmly to release flavor. Fill glasses with ice cubes. Pour chilled lime mixture over ice and mint leaves. If desired, add extra quartered limes and/or mint leaves.

Nutrition Information per serving: 95 calories, 0g protein, 21g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 1g fiber

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Sun Teas

Iced tea offers as much antioxidant power as hot teas, so drink up! Use the power of the sun to brew a clear, flavorful tea. For even more flavor, try one of the variations with mint, ginger, or berry.

Prep: 10 minutes
Stand: 2 hours
Makes: 8 servings

4 to 6 tablespoons loose tea or 4 to 6 tea bags
1 1/2 quarts cold water
Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Place loose tea into a tea ball or 100-percent cotton cheesecloth, tying with a string. (Do not use decaffeinated, green, or herbal teas.) Put into a 2-quart clear glass container. Add cold water. Cover and let stand in sunlight or at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. (Keep the container away from combustible materials. Sunlight coming through glass and liquid can concentrate a beam of light that may start a fire.)

2. Remove tea ball or bags. Serve over ice or refrigerate immediately. If desired, serve with lemon wedges. Store in the refrigerator and use within 24 hours.

Nutrition Information per serving: 0 calories, 0g protein, 9g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

Hint of Mint Tea: Add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon snipped fresh mint to the loose tea or 4 to 6 crushed large mint leaves with the tea bags. Brew as directed. Remove mint before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh mint.

Ginger Tea: Add a 2- to 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced, with the loose tea or tea bags. Brew tea as directed. Strain before serving. If desired, garnish each serving with a ginger-flavored candy stick.

Very Berry Tea: Brew tea as directed. In a covered blender container blend 1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries or raspberries until smooth. If desired, strain raspberry puree to remove seeds. Stir berry mixture into brewed tea. If desired, garnish with fresh berries.

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Honeydew-Kiwifruit Smoothie

Smoothies aren't just breakfast substitutes and post-workout pick-me-ups anymore. Use fresh seasonal fruits for the tastiest mix.

Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Makes: 3 servings

2 cups cubed honeydew
1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and cut up
1 kiwifruit, peeled and cut up
2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup ice cubes
Honeydew and/or kiwifruit slices (optional)

1. In a blender container, combine honeydew, apple, kiwifruit, sugar, and lime juice. Cover and blend until smooth.

2. Add ice cubes; cover and blend until cubes are crushed and mixture is slushy. Garnish with additional honeydew and/or kiwifruit slices, if desired. Nutrition Information per serving: 110 calories, 2g protein, 27g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 3g fiber

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Frozen Lime Margaritas

Enhance a regular blended margarita recipe with a can of frozen limeade, which adds extra citrus flavor. Prefer something sweeter? Make a batch of strawberry margaritas with fresh summer strawberries.

Start to Finish: 10 minutes
Makes: 10 servings

12-ounce can frozen limeade concentrate
2/3 cup tequila
1/2 cup light orange juice or orange liqueur
4 cups ice cubes
1/2 of a medium lime
Coarse salt
Orange slices (optional)

1. In a blender container combine limeade concentrate, tequila, and orange juice. Cover and blend until combined. With blender running, add ice cubes, one at a time, through opening in lid, blending until mixture becomes slushy.

2. Cut a thick lime slice; cut slice in half. Rub slices around rims of eight glasses. Dip rims into a dish of coarse salt to coat rims. Pour mixture into prepared glasses. Garnish glasses with orange slices, if desired.

Nutrition Information per serving: 122 calories, 0g protein, 22g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

Strawberry Margaritas: Prepare as above, except blend half of the mixture at a time adding 1 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries along with 2 cups of the ice cubes. Repeat with remaining mixture, 1 cup additional frozen strawberries, and remaining 2 cups ice cubes. Continue as directed, substituting coarse sugar for the salt on the glasses. If desired, garnish each glass with a whole strawberry.

Make-ahead directions: Prepare as above through Step 1. Pour into a 1-1/2-quart freezer container. Cover and freeze overnight. To serve, use a large spoon to scrape across frozen surface and pile into salt-rimmed glasses.

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Tangy Citrus Lemonade

Nonalcoholic doesn't mean boring. Add some zing to lemonade -- the summer standby -- with fresh raspberries. If you insist on kicking it up an extra notch, spike the lemonade with vodka.

Prep: 25 minutes
Chill: 2 hours
Makes: 10 servings

6 large lemons (1 1/2 cups juice)
3 medium limes (1/3 cup juice)
3/4 to 1 cup honey
6 cups water
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
Ice cubes
Lemon and/or lime slices (optional)

1. In a 2-1/2-quart pitcher, combine lemon juice, lime juice, and 3/4 to 1 cup honey. Add water and raspberries. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours.

2. Just before serving, gently stir to combine. Pour into ice-filled glasses. Add lemon and/or lime slices, if desired.

Nutrition Information per serving: 101 calories, 1g protein, 28g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 2g fiber

Lemonade Tea: Add equal parts freshly brewed iced tea and Tangy Citrus Lemonade to ice-filled glasses. Sweeten to taste with additional honey, if desired.

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Fresh Mint Water

Pre-make a pitcher for an anytime beverage. Soak melon, mint, and cucumber in water for a cooling summertime drink.

Prep: 15 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
Makes: 8 servings

1 small cucumber, cleaned and sliced
1/4 of a medium honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and sliced into wedges
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves
7 cups water
Fresh mint leaves (optional)

1. Place cucumber, honeydew melon, and mint leaves in a large pitcher. Fill pitcher with water. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Strain mixture; discard solids. Pour water into tall glasses over ice. If desired, garnish with additional fresh mint.

Nutrition Information per serving: 16 calories, 0g protein, 4g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

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Pomegranate Martinis

Flavored martinis have gone the way of the pom'. Pomegranate syrup can be found in the coffee or baking aisle of well-stocked supermarkets. Prove you're the best hostess by offering all three flavor options -- pomegranate, orange, and apple -- to your guests.

Start to Finish: 10 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

1/2 of a medium orange, cut into wedges
1 1/2 cups vodka or gin
1/3 cup pomegranate syrup (grenadine)
3 tablespoons dry vermouth
Ice cubes
Small pomegranates (optional)

1. Rub orange wedges around rims of 8 martini glasses. Invert glasses into a dish of sugar to coat rims; set glasses aside. In a small pitcher, combine the vodka, pomegranate syrup, and vermouth. Place ice cubes in a martini shaker. For each drink, add 1/4 cup of the syrup mixture; shake. Strain into one of the prepared martini glasses. Garnish with a small pomegranate, if desired.

Nutrition Information per serving: 146 calories, 0g protein, 11g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

Orange Martinis: Prepare as above, except use 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed, in place of the syrup. Omit garnish.

Apple Martinis: Prepare as above except use 1/3 cup frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed, in place of the syrup. Garnish with fresh orange peel curls.

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What do you think? Review this slideshow!

aj19661 wrote:

I think this slide show of low calorie drink recipes is great! I have been working hard at staying fit by work out to some best fitness DVDS in my home and occasionally like to have a drink on the weekend. We all know that alcohol and drinks are the worst thing to do when trying to keep off unwanted pounds so having these recipes will sure help me indulge with out ruin.

1/19/2012 05:32:42 PM Report Abuse
lynnmead wrote:

Try the TY-TINI 1.5 oz ty ku liqueur, .25 oz vodka or ty ku soju (less cals) squeeze of lemon, splash of any diet citrus soda ENJOY! more skinny cocktails here:

2/4/2011 04:12:47 PM Report Abuse

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Originally published on, July 2007.
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