Too many summer celebrations can get your waistline into trouble, especially when most popular mixed drinks rack up more than 500 calories each. Imbibe smarter with these three lightened-up versions of popular cocktails, each coming in at less than 300 calories.
Gooey, sugar-laden daiquiri mixes are full of added colors, flavors and high-fructose corn syrup. A half-cup of the mix alone contains almost 200 calories. This recipe uses the natural sweetness of fruit and gets a boost of flavor from coconut rum and coconut water.
1 cup frozen mango
1/2 banana (preferably frozen)
1 1/2 ounces coconut rum
1/2 cup coconut water
Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
A typical serving of this classic Cuban cocktail made from sugar, rum and mint can contain up to 500 calories. Instead of adding sugar, infuse flavor by using fresh fruit.
8 fresh mint leaves, torn
3 tablespoons diced pineapple
Juice of 1/4 lime
1 1/2 ounces light rum
Additional mint and lime for serving
In a glass, muddle mint, pineapple and lime juice. Add ice, followed by rum and seltzer. Give the mixture a quick stir and garnish with more mint and lime.
A typical restaurant portion of this popular drink can add up to more than 600 calories, thanks to lots of alcohol and sweetened mixers. This fruit-infused version keeps things light and naturally sweet.
Strawberry Rhubarb Margarita
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
1 ounce Triple Sec
Blood orange or lemon soda (San Pellegrino recommended)
Fresh lime juice
Lime wedges for serving
Place cilantro and strawberries in the bottom of a tall glass and muddle gently. Add ice, rhubarb syrup, tequila, Triple Sec, a splash of soda and a squeeze of fresh lime; stir or shake. Pour into a salt-rimmed glass and serve with a lime wedge.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.
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