Slimming Summer Cocktails

Slimming Summer Cocktails
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Our Low Calorie Summer Cocktail Recipes

Summer is officially here. Bad tan-lines are on display, elderly men are insisting on persevering with the socks-and-sandals trend, and I seem to wake each morning with a hankering for a Magnum.

So this means it’s time for summer drinking – beer gardens, plastic cocktail glasses, and a concoction that’s fruitier than Alan Carr and Carmen Miranda riding a banana boat in Florida.

But with a great summer comes a great responsibility – to watch the waistline ready for those holiday snaps. It’s not like winter, when excess skin can be handily hidden by layers of cardigan and wool, and you can pretend the lumpy bits are Grandmas’s bad knitting. So can you watch the calories while still enjoying the odd blue lagoon cocktail?

There are of course the no-brainers. We all know the sinful drinks that we have to refuse – those laden with sugar and cream. At some point common sense has to make an appearance. Toblerone martini? Tasty, yes. A killer on the thighs? Oh goodness yes.

Wine should be watched too, unless it’s put it a spritzer. I don’t know what to think about this. Why get a lovely glass of Pinot G if you’re just going to dilute it with soda water? Isn’t that like going to watch a stunning sunset then deciding to put someone else’s prescription goggles on at the crucial moment?

Top Tip – stick to the vodka cocktails. This clear spirit is the lowest in calories. So what vodka cocktails work well? Bloody Mary’s are a great alternative to mimosas if you’re having a morning session. And when you want something really refreshing, steer clear of anything laden with too much juice. You might think you’re getting your five a day, but the sugar content of those tropical treats are sky high. Ditto with anything containing coconut cream. Sadly these exotic libations are usually pretty packed with naughtiness. And rum cocktails might make you feel like you can hear the steel drums of the Caribbean, but you’d be surprised how much sugar syrup can be added to your average mojito.

Our Top Summer Cocktail Tips

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If you’re planning on making your own drinks at home, here are some top tips to consider when you grab your cocktail shaker and embark on some healthy variations of your favourites.

1) Avoid Agave – Hello Honey!

If you really fancy something like a refreshing mojito but want to lower the sugar content that complements the lime, then natural sweeteners are a much better way to go. But agave syrup – once thought to be a great ‘natural’ alternative – is actually still packed full of fructose. A better option is to mix in a small amount of raw honey or natural maple syrup. Mix it with gin or vodka and a hint of elderflower, then serve it long with lime, mint and a slimline tonic.

2) Loco for Coco (nuts)

Coconuts are the new multi-tasking superfood. And coconut water is fantastic as it contains so many electrolytes, making it super-hydrating. Plus it gives a great taste and freshness to drinks that might otherwise use tonic or fizzy drinks. Try making a thinner, healthier version of a Pina Colada by mixing rum, coconut water, pineapple juice and lime.

3) Fresh Fruit is Your Friend

Rather than adding juices that are high in sugar and sweetener, grab your muddler and pulp up some fresh fruit. Raspberries and strawberries add their own natural flavouring, while pomegranate seeds make for a delicious treat. Try adding refreshing, water-based ingredients like melon and cucumber to clear vodka cocktails to add taste without the calories.

4) Try a Nutty White Russian

If you’re really hankering something cold and white, and have to channel The Dude, then you can still make a White Russian without the dairy. Forget the calorific cream, use almond milk instead, and still get a nice hit of flavour.

So, if you’re planning on hitting the beach soon, then it’s worth making a couple of changes here and there. Only so that, when you are actually on holiday, you can drink as many Pina Coladas and Cosmopolitans as your heart (and tummy) desires.

Main photo credit: npmeijer via photopin cc




Written by Rebecca Milford

Posted: July 11, 2014

Rebecca is a cocktail connoisseur & fan of good nosh. A PR whizz with a gold medal in bar hopping, you can follow her on Twitter here.