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Festive & Fit: Low-Calorie Cocktails for Holiday Gatherings

Low Calorie Cocktails

As someone who loves a good beverage, I have a few low calorie drinks on rotation. I love an iced coffeepink drink, or when I’m in a boozy mood, some low calorie cocktails.

As someone who is very invested in my fitness, I spend a portion of the year monitoring my calorie intake. Instead of cutting food groups out completely, I just make lower calorie version of my favorite foods and drinks.

What is the best alcohol to drink on a diet?

Spirits such as tequila, gin, vodka, and rum are all low in calories. Each standard drink, or 1.5 oz fluid serving, has around 95 calories. However, when used in cocktails or mixed drinks, they can be quite the calorie bombs.

Luckily, with a few small tweaks, you can enjoy cocktails without the added sugar and calories. We’ve re-created the 5 most popular cocktails around the world and given them a low calorie makeover.

Low calorie cocktail recipes- 5 cocktails!

These low calorie cocktails prove you can enjoy cocktails on a low calorie or weight loss diet. Each one has around 100 calories each and needs less than 4 ingredients to make, and they look and taste just like their original inspiration.

Here are the five cocktails we’ve cut the calories of-

  • Long Island Iced Tea
  • Espresso martini
  • Margarita
  • Mohito
  • Gin and tonic

How to make a low calorie cocktail?

Each of these low calorie cocktails follows the same format of spirits or alcohol, then adding mixers or soda, and then unique mix-ins or ingredients to give them their signature look and flavor.


The Ingredients.

  • Alcohol– Vodka, tequila, rum, or gin.
  • Sugar syrup substitute or sweetener– The secret ingredient to keeping the calories low but flavor high. Homemade sugar free simple syrup (or sugar free maple syrup) adds sweetness to every cocktail, minus the calories!
  • Liquid– Soda, diet soda, or fresh juices.
  • Mix-ins– sliced fruit, flavor extracts, or whipped cream.

The Instructions.

In a cocktail shaker or glass mixer, combine your ingredients and shake/mix until combined. Pour into a glass and serve immediately.


Low calorie cocktail options

Here are the specific ingredients for each of the five cocktails. Three of them require a shaker and the other two can be stirred.

Long Island Iced Tea

  • Vodka
  • Rum
  • Tequila
  • Gin
  • Orange extract– Replaces the need for triple sec.
  • Sugar free simple syrup
  • Lemon juice
  • Diet cola

A traditional Long Island Iced Tea has 220 calories and 23 grams of sugar, but this low calorie Long Island Iced Tea has just 120 calories and 0 grams of sugar. That is a saving of 100 calories each.

low calorie long island iced tea

Espresso Martini

  • Espresso or cold brew– Either 30 ml of freshly brewed espresso (one espresso capsule) or cold brew.
  • Vodka
  • Vanilla extract
  • Sugar free simple syrup

A traditional espresso martini has 230 calories and 25 grams of sugar. This low calorie version has just 98 calories and 0 grams of sugar. That is saving of over 130 calories.

low calorie espresso martini


  • Sugar free maple syrup– Adds a better flavor than the simple syrup for this particular cocktail.
  • Tequila
  • Lime and lemon juice
  • Sparkling water

A standard margarita has around 250 calories and 32 grams of sugar. This low calorie or skinny margarita has just 100 calories and 1 gram of sugar. That is a saving of 150 calories.

low calorie margarita


  • Club soda
  • Lime
  • Sugar free simple syrup
  • Rum
  • Fresh mint

A classic mojito has 240 calories and over 30 grams of sugar. This low calorie mojito has just 95 calories per standard drink and zero grams of sugar. That is a saving of over 145 calories.

low calorie mojito

Gin and Tonic

  • Gin
  • Diet tonic water– Also known as sugar free tonic water or Indian tonic water.
  • Lime

A traditional gin and tonic has 170 calories and 20 grams of sugar per serving. A low calorie gin and tonic has just 100 calories and no sugar. That is a saving of 70 calories.

low calorie gin and tonic

Tips to make the best cocktails

  • Unless you want an authentic cocktail, you can switch up the liquor or spirits used in each one. Most spirits (vodka, rum, gin, tequila) all have similar calories.
  • Always serve the cocktails fresh, as they are most refreshing then. Do not store them for more than an hour and never freeze them.
  • Add a squeeze of citrus, fresh berries, or other sliced fruits to the cocktails. They will provide extra flavor with very minimal calories.

So there you have it some low cal alternatives to still enjoy your fav drinks while not downing too many liquid cals.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lowest calorie cocktail?

The lowest calorie cocktail is a margarita, which has around 170 calories. However, any of the cocktail recipes included here are all around 100 calories each.

Can I drink alcohol and still lose weight?

Alcohol can certainly be part of a weight loss diet, provided you do not drink it in excess. 1-2 standard drinks or 3-4 low calorie cocktails a week is ideal.

Does alcohol cause belly fat?

There is no proven studies that correlate alcohol consumption and belly fat. Belly fat or body fat is gained through excess food and calorie consumption.

What is the healthiest cocktail to drink?

No cocktail really has any health merits, however, margaritas and gin and tonics have added fruit juice in them.