Nutrition Articles

Say Cheers to Slimmed Down Cocktails

A Calorie Counter's Guide to Mixed Drinks

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  • Alternate between alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages (like water or juice) to keep yourself hydrated. You'll drink fewer calories with this technique and allow your body more time to metabolize the alcohol.
  • Avoid fancy cocktails and martinis. They're calorie bombs! All the bells and whistles that go along with a martini—the flavored sugar on the rim, the syrup decorating the glass, and the garnishes—add extra calories. While a regular martini (vodka or gin with a bit of vermouth) has about 130 calories, a key lime martini can have 230 calories, and a chocolate martini can add up to a whopping 450 calories. That's like drinking a dessert!
  • Stick with clear (non-creamy) martinis. While flavored martinis like Key lime are delicious, they contain two tablespoons of heavy cream in each glass.
  • Choose low-calorie or calorie free mixers. The following chart can help you make diet-friendly choices:
  • Mixer (serving size) Calories
    Diet soda 0
    Diet tonic 0
    Coffee or tea 0
    Sugar-free syrups 0
    Sugar-free margarita mix 0
    Sugar-free sweet 'n sour mix 0
    Light lemonade (8 oz) 5
    Lemon or lime juice (0.5 oz) 10
    Light cranberry juice (8 oz) 40
    Light orange juice (8 oz) 50
    Orange juice (8 oz) 85
    Cranberry juice (8 oz) 140
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    About The Author

    Stepfanie Romine Stepfanie Romine
    A former newspaper reporter, Stepfanie now writes about nutrition, health, fitness and cooking. She is a certified Ashtanga yoga teacher who enjoys running, international travel and all kinds of vegetables. See all of Stepfanie's articles.

    Member Comments

    • REIDD111
      OMG!!!! I guess our margarita night has turned to low cal beer night. - 12/10/2015 7:59:27 AM
    • Not sure I will not drink these drinks but I will make sure to budget for them and not go over one or two. - 8/1/2013 5:11:52 AM
    • Beware of all liqueurs!! Baileys, Chambord, Grand Marnier, Jagermeister, Damiana, Hypnotiq, Midor, Tuaca, Southern Comfort and many, MANY more. These are all sugar and cream infused. Double the calories!! Oh, and don't forget the new 'sweet tea' drinks!

      Some of the flavored vodkas also have added sugar. Remember, if it tastes sweet, it's probably had sugar added.

      ** my favourite cocktail right now, Indio blood orange vodk, with lime essence sparkling water and a lime wedge. yummy and refreshing! - 7/17/2012 1:30:19 PM
    • Great article, lots of good information.
      - 5/4/2012 6:17:37 PM
    • Good article, my perferred drink is wine. On ocassion I may have a mixed drink, now that I am fully aware of all the calories, no more. I will stick to my favorite wine. - 5/2/2012 8:35:15 AM
    • My first bottle of Kahla is now my last bottle. No wonder the numbers on the scale climbed! - 12/29/2011 10:06:06 AM
    • If you want to make some tasty flavored martini's, Bacardi now has lower calorie flavored rums that can be mixed with plain vodka, and diet juices such as white cranberry peach, or diet cranberry if you want to do a twist on a cosmo. You can also use some of the diet lipton iced teas. They now have a sparkling one that you can add to white wine to make it a spritzer. - 2/5/2010 8:35:13 AM
    • Flavored vodka adds 5 calories to the count according to the vodka companies. - 10/18/2009 11:38:49 AM
      I have a question about flavored vodka, does this worse than plan vodka? I like grape vodka and Sprite zero, how many calories and carbs are we talking? - 6/23/2009 10:48:52 AM
      I have created a pretty tasty, lower calorie Tequila Sunrise. I add about 1 tsp. of Crystal LIght Sunrise Natural Classic Orange flavored powder to about an oz. of tequila and a dash of grenadine. Add crushed ice and fill glass with water. Quite tasty! The Crystal Light has only 5 calories per serving, yet does have vitamin C and calcium. I'm going to try replacing the grenadine with a red flavor of Crystal Light hoping to cut more calories from this tasty drink. - 3/16/2009 1:25:13 PM
    • CREILLY1
      Great, informative article. Printed it out to share with friends. Thanks! - 3/16/2009 11:34:31 AM
    • I found this just in time for Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago. Great information. Will definitely share. - 2/20/2009 3:46:57 AM
    • My favorite mixer is jello mix before it's chilled over ice with bottled water or juice for some simple reminiscent variety and flavor. - 2/20/2009 2:13:22 AM
    • GLAM-CAT
      omg I had no idea how much calories I was drinking ;( Very helpful article and sad at the same time (bye bye cosmopolitan) - 2/15/2009 6:55:13 AM
    • This was so helpful! I' m glad I only drink vodka on the rocks LOL - 2/11/2009 6:36:58 AM

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