If you’re trying to stay healthy — but tired of drinking spiked seltzer for it’s low calorie count — we have great news. First: put down your vodka soda. Next: listen up and get ready to switch up your go-to order.
If cocktails are your favorite, and you’re out at a bar: read the menu carefully to decipher what’s in your glass. “Drinks are automatically healthier if they use natural flavors and real juices instead of artificial flavors, colorings and syrups,” says Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, nutrition expert and author of Smoothies & Juices: Prevention Healing Kitchen. “Also, look for drinks with no or low added sugar.”
While Largeman-Roth notes cocktails can be hard to gauge off in the wild, she looks for words like “house-made” in the description. “That tells me that the bartender is making their own simple syrups and mixes instead of the bottled stuff, which generally is high in sugar and low on fresh flavor,” she says.
For all other occasions — backyard parties, at-home dinners and tailgating through football season (ahem, when you’d normally reach for a canned vodka water) — order something new and tasty, without undoing your diet.
With carbonated water, sparkling rose wine (made with organic grapes), organic lemon juice, organic white grape juice concentrate and basil oil, one spritz equals 98 calories. “This light and refreshing drink has no added sugar and is non-GMO and also gluten-free. It’s also vegan-certified,” says Largeman-Roth. “It’s very fresh tasting and super light! Only 4% ABV.”
Organic silver Cachaca, lime, sugar and water carbonation make up 129 calories in this beverage. “This sparkling caipirinha is much lower in sugar than the typical Brazilian cocktail,” says Largeman-Roth. “It’s delicious and easy to sip.”
You’ll find freshly pressed New York state apples, plus passion fruit, orange and guava juices in this 185-calorie cider. “Most hard ciders have ABVs in the 8-9% range and some even top 12%!,” says Largeman-Roth. “Brighter Times only has 6%, which makes it much lower in alcohol and calories. This is perfect for the transition from summer to fall and goes well with anything grilled.”
The 90-calorie white wine, water, botanicals, natural extracts of watermelon and chile canned drink is light, naturally flavored and refreshing unlike sugar-laden and artificial wine spritzers of the past, says Largeman-Roth.
This hard kombucha is 150 calories, certified USDA organic and is also gluten-free, non-GMO and vegan-friendly, says Largeman-Roth. “At 5% ABV, it’s less boozy than most hard kombuchas and only has 7g of sugar per can.”
Bottoms up for a healthier beverage!