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The Low Calorie Cocktail Hacks Every Girl Needs To Know

Tolani Shoneye Published by Tolani Shoneye
Published on January 17, 2015

Tis the season to be jolly, and jolly you shall be, but consuming all those Christmas cocktails can often lead to a sugar overload. So, how do you pick a fun libation that tastes great but won't have you drinking the liquid equivalent of a bag of sweets? Let us tell you. We've found out the secrets to picking the healthiest cocktail on the menu AND have found 10 of the most delicious healthy cocktail recipes you HAVE to try this Christmas.

Christmas is full of temptations, and temptations that come in the shape of cocktails are way too good to pass up, and because we would never want you to miss out, we've put together a list of healthy and more importantly, delicious cocktails.

We also found out the ultimate hacks every calorie conscious girl needs to know when it comes to picking your drink from the cocktail menu this Crimbo.

We spoke to to Michael Stringer, Mixologist and Director of BlackLeaf Events, who assured us, that there is such a thing as a healthy cocktail. He is indeed the deliverer of great news.

1. Try diet mixers to cut some calories

​​"People see cocktails as something which is always unhealthy and full of calories due to the alcohol and sugar content of syrups, but this is not always the case. There are many ways to ensure your cocktail is as healthy as it can be, for example simply using ‘diet’ versions of mixers such as tonic, lemonade and ginger ale can be a simple way to get less calories into your mixed drinks."

2. Swap sugar syrup for agave syrup

Sometimes simple swaps can be the best way to make your cocktail choice healthier. Michael says, "During our research to design a range of low calorie cocktails, we found that that sugar syrup was a big calorie additive. So try swapping the sugar syrup for ingredients such as, agave syrup or even making our own syrup using natural sweeteners, like the Stevia plant.

3. Get fruity

"Another option to keep your cocktails skinny is to use fresh fruits which can be muddled or blended into mixed drinks - they're healthier than purees.​ We found some pre-packaged fruit purees can contain up to 20% or more sugar! By using fresh fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, banana etc you can cut out the added sugar and still have a delicious, and more often even a better tasting drink."

4. Get veggie

See - cocktails don't have to be a sin! In fact, if you chose the right kind of fruit or veg based cocktails you could be doing yourself some favours. You could try watermelon which Michael says, "helps to control your heart rate and also peaches which are rich in potassium, fluoride and iron. You can also create savoury cocktails using vegetables - we actually like a new gin called Twisted Nose gin which is distilled using watercress."

5. Pick your base spirits wisely

​"The very start point of creating a lower calorie, healthier cocktail depends on which spirit you use as a base ingredient, although this is usually common sense. Gin and vodka tend to be the lowest with liqueurs, syrups and cream based drinks being the highest in calories."

6. Take time for tea

Another great hack for picking a healthier cocktail? Go for cocktails containing tea, especially green tea or matcha. Michael says they help to flush out the alcohol a little faster.

We're convinced. So here are 10 cocktails you can enjoy, guilt free.

Skinny Superfood Collins

The drink is named skinny for a reason, with just 105 calories, it is sure to go down great this Christmas.

Ingredients:
50ml gin mare
10ml raspberry puree
10ml strawberry puree
25ml gomme
25ml lemon
75ml soda
3 blackberries
1 raspberry
6 basil leaves
1 basil sprig

Method:
Mix the raspberry and two blackberries in a long glass.
Add the purees, basil leaves, lemon, soda & gomme, and then top with cubed ice.
Add the gin & churn.
Finish by adding a mound of crushed ice to overfill the jar.
Available from Drake and Morgan

Cinnamon, Sour Apple & Sweet Pear Christmas Crush

Lets all rejoice in this healthy cocktail, the mixture of apple, pears and cinnamon (for a Christmas touch) is excellent for balancing out blood sugar.

Ingredients:
50ml chase vodka
25ml sour apple puree
25ml sweet pear puree
15ml ginger syrup

Method:
Mix all the ingredients together.
Shake
Strain into a glass.
Garnish with grilled pear and a cinnamon stick.
Available from AMUSE BOUCHE:

Brazilian Beets

The veggie tipple that is great for everyone. An sultry, earthy mixture of beetroot, lemons, spices and of course booze.

Ingredients:
1/2 beetroot
2 tsp ginger syrup
1 tsp sugar
40ml las Iguanas Magnifica Cachaça
16ml velvet falernum
16ml lemon juice
pinch salt
pinch cayenne


Method:
Muddle the beetroot with the sugar.
Add in the rest of the ingredients.
Shake hard with ice.
Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Available from Las Iguanas

Celery Cure

Hair of the dog, the healthy way. The celery is sure to blitz away any festive hangover so you start another night of fun.

Ingredients:
50ml finlandia vodka
25ml lemon juice
20ml celery syrup (celery, sugar, water)
celery

Method:
Make the celery syrup by simmering equal parts of diced celery, sugar and water in a pan for five minutes and then strain.
Place all the other ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice.
Muddle with the celery syrup, shake and then double strain in to martini glass.
Garnish with a curl of celery.
Available from Tozi

Cointreau Skinny Fizz

This glamorous cocktail is based on the natural sweetness and orange notes of Cointreau and is paired simply with fresh lime juice and soda water – and it’s only 150 calories!

Ingredients:
50ml cointreau
10ml fresh lime juice
100ml soda water

Method:
Fill a glass with ice.
Add Cointreau, the juice of half a lime and top off with soda water.
Garnish with wedges of lime.

Skinny Hummingbird Cosmo

An English twist on a cosmo with Gin, raspberries, elderflower and a squeeze of lime, oh and it is only 95 calories.

Ingredients:
50ml gin
15ml elderflower cordial
6 fresh raspberries
20ml lemon
10ml sugar

Method:
Place all the ingredients into a shaker and shake hard.
Double strain the ingredients into a martini glass.
Garnish with red currents and orange peel on the side.
Available from Drake and Morgan

The Quentao

With a mix of fresh ginger, slices of orange and lemons, raspberries which have antioxidant benefits and fresh orange juice, this is the cocktail to warm your cockles.

Ingredients:
110 vanilla sugar
4 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
4 cloves
3-4 slices of fresh root ginger
peel of 1 small lemon
peel of 1 small organe
75ml orange juice
210ml cachaça
12 raspberries

Method:
Put the vanilla sugar in a large saucepan and add the cinnamon sticks, cloves and 800ml hot water.
Twist the lemon and orange peels to release their fragrant oils and add them to the pan.
Place over a medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved – this should take about 5 minutes.
Once the sugar has dissolved, reduce the heat and add the orange juice, cachaça and raspberries.
Heat gently for another 5 minutes. It’s important not to let it boil or all the alcohol will be burnt off.
Ladle it into individual heatproof glasses and serve hot.
Available from Cabana

Malibu Shore Skinny

Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean you can’t pretend you're on a beach somewhere.

Ingredients:
1 measure malibu rum
120ml ocean spray cranberry classic light juice drink
lime wedge
A few ocean spray craisins and dried ranberries

Method:
Fill a highball glass with ice.
Add rum and top with Cranberry Classic Light.
Garnish with a cocktail stick speared with a lime wedge and Craisins Dried Cranberries.
Available from Ocean Spray

Absolut Skinny Cosmopolitan

A healthy twist to the old favorite.

Ingredients
2 Parts absolut citron
2½ parts light cranberry juice
1 part light orange juice
1 part lime juice
1 twist lime

Method
Add all ingredients into a shaker.
Shake and strain into a cocktail glass.
Garnish with lime.

Berries on the Milky Way

Low in alcohol by volume (ABV) the Strawberry Milkshake ODDKA, allows you enjoy a milky cocktail without the guilt.

Ingredients:
8cl ODDKA strawberry milkshake
4cl milk
2 fresh strawberries.

Method
Muddle fresh strawberries in a glass
Add the ODDKA, milk and ice cubes.
Stir
Garnish with a strawberry
Available from ODDKA

Will you trying any of these recipes? Tweet us! @wewomenUSA

This article was written by Tolani Shoneye. Follow her on @tolly_t

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