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Healthy Cocktails

Healthy Cocktails

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Cool off this summer with these delicious drinks―each with a healthful twist.

Even cocktails―the ultimate fun food―can be made healthier by including whole fruits or fruit and vegetable juices, making them a source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.

Mix in crushed fresh peppermint leaves and add a long, thin slice of fresh, peeled sugarcane as a healthful, unprocessed sweetener.

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and tasty, healthy recipes.

Summer Seltzer
Any summer spritzer (such as a juice and seltzer combo) can look as fresh as it tastes. Add mixed fruit on a skewer for more natural flavors.

When tropical cocktail recipes call for syrups, try natural, homemade versions instead of store-bought. Combine one half-cup of honey with a quarter-cup of warm water, and stir together to dissolve the honey. It works well in a daiquiri, such as the following made with lime: Combine 1 1/2 cups white rum, 2/3 cup fresh lime juice, and 6 tablespoons of the simple syrup in a small pitcher. Fill 6 (8-ounce) glasses with ice; pour 1/2 cup rum mixture into each glass.

Piña colada
Throwing a half-cup of pineapple chunks into a piña colada gives you twice as much filling fiber than if you used syrup or juice. It also adds volume, texture, and a more natural flavor.

Tropical Drinks
Make watermelon ice cubes for a tasty addition to any tropical drink, says Cooking Light Executive Chef Billy Strynkowski. Simply remove the pits from fresh red or yellow watermelon, dice, and place in a blender with chopped fresh mint. Puree on medium speed until it liquefies, then pour into ice-cube trays and freeze.

Skinny Cocktails

Calories consumed while imbibing add up fast. Consider this: One 8-ounce margarita on the rocks can have over 500 calories and 30 grams of sugar. A frozen margarita has nearly 800 calories and 50 grams of sugar (the equivalent of 16 chocolate chip cookies). More of a pina colada person? Plan to hit the treadmill hard since one drink has over 500 calories and 50 grams of sugar. And that simple vodka with cranberry or orange juice? A minimum of 200 calories and 23 grams of sugar.

It’s easy to make your drinks skinnier and healthier at the same time:

-Cut calories in half (and add nutrients) by using coconut water instead of fruit juice.

-Use watermelon puree to naturally sweeten drinks (leave out the sugar and simple syrup).

-Replace sweetened fruit purees and frozen drink mixes with fresh or frozen sliced strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

-Replace half the amount of fruit juice with flavored seltzer water.

-Use orange wedges instead of orange juice or replace the juice with flavored, no-calorie water.

-Opt for sake, shochu or soju, Asian spirits with fewer calories than vodka and gin.

10 Ridiculously Healthy Cocktails

Ok, ok&mdashso cocktails aren't exactly health food. But every once in a while, they can be oh-so-good for your mental health. 'Tis the season to indulge, so we wondered: is there a healthier way to drink?

Absolutely, says Nikki Brender, RD, who teaches a class called "Nutritionist's Guide to Boozing" for Skillshare and runs LittleBitesNutrition. Alcohol is farily calorie-dense, she says, so the slimming secret is in the mixers. Check out her top 5 tips for lightening up cocktails:

  • Ice is your friend "Adding ice&mdashespecially crushed ice&mdashhas a triple benefit of keeping your drink cold, keeping you hydrated, and diluting the alcohol flavor, requiring less juice and other sweetener," she says.
  • Sip seasonally Take advantage of in-season fruits and veggies. The riper the ingredients, the more natural fruit sugar and less added sugar you'll need, Brender says.
  • Make mine spicy Instead of packaged mixes, flavor your cocktails with fresh herbs and spices, says Brender. Cayenne pepper adds kick, lemon and lime add pucker, and bitters? Well, they make everything better.
  • Don't get loose with juice "If the recipe calls for more than 1/2 cup juice per cocktail, replace the remaining juice with flavored seltzer or dilute with water or extra ice," Brender says.
  • Save your sugar Slash half of the sugar from any recipe you follow. "You can always add in more later," she says. "But the majority of the time, you can get away with cutting back at least 1/4 of the amount."

We followed Brender's advice and found 10 light and healthy, RD-approved cocktail creations. It's happy hour somewhere, so grab your muddler and get mixing!

This intensely sippable drink by Warren Bobrow, cocktail writer for Foodista and author of forthcoming book Apothecary Cocktails, will warm your whole body. Lemon alters your body's pH, which might make it more resistant to viruses.

3 oz smoky whisky (we used Johnnie Walker Black Label)
2 Tbsp honey simple syrup (honey and water, warmed)
Assorted herbs from the garden, such as thyme, rosemary, sage and lavender
1 cheesecloth bag for steeping
1/2 mug black tea
1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

ADD 3 oz. whisky and 2 Tbsp honey syrup to the mug

PLACE herbs in a cheesecloth bag and steep them in the hot tea for about five minutes, then pour over the whisky and honey mixture

STIR IN lemon juice.

"I prefer the tiny, intensely flavored Maine wild blueberries for this cocktail they come either frozen or canned during the off-season," Bobrow says. We skipped the cranberry sauce and maple syrup to save on calories and sugar&mdashand we still wanted a second mug.

1/4 cup each of crushed cranberries and blueberries
1/3 cup cranberry sauce
4 shots gin (we used Bulldog London Dry Gin)
1/3 cup water
1 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
Grade B dark amber maple syrup, optional
Several orange slices
2 fresh lemon thyme sprigs

MUDDLE the crushed cranberries with the blueberries to make a slurry, then add the cranberry sauce to the mix

ADD the gin and let sit for a few minutes to combine the flavors

BRING the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the cranberry and lime juices

ADD the heated cranberry juice mixture to the muddled cranberry mixture and stir together. Pour into 2 preheated mugs (we strained it)

SWEETEN with maple syrup if desired, and garnish with orange slices and a sprig of lemon thyme.

After knocking back a couple of these, you'll definitely feel high on prana&mdashSanskrit for "life." This refreshing drink comes straight from Mat Snapp, mixologist of True Food Kitchen, a venture co-founded by Dr. Andrew Weil. Take comfort in the fact that as the alcohol depletes your electrolytes, coconut water helps restore them. It's the circle of life.

1 oz. pineapple juice
3 wedges clementine
0.5 oz. simple syrup
1 lemon wedge
1 oz. coconut water
1 oz. grapefruit juice
1.5 oz. Belvedere vodka

MUDDLE first 4 ingredients together

ADD all ingredients to cocktail shaker, shake, and strain. Serve in a martini glass, and garnish with a clementine wheel.

RD Tip: "Use fresh grapefruit squeezed instead of grapefruit juice, especially because they are so sweet this time of year," Brender says.

This herb-forward hot chocolate comes from HumanaVitality and Janice Newell Bissex, RD, and Liz Weiss, RD, also known as the Meal Makeover Moms. By using real cocoa powder instead of packaged hot chocolate mix, you're able to control the amount of total sugar. We love the kicky undertones of stomach-soothing ginger.

5 leaves fresh mint
1/2 teaspoon fresh, grated ginger
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon sugar
4 teaspoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 drop almond extract
2 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
Miniature marshmallows, optional

CRUSH mint leaves and combine with ginger

HEAT milk in a large saucepan, then add crushed mint leaves and ginger, sugar, and cocoa

STIR over medium heat until heated through

REMOVE from heat and strain

STIR IN vanilla and almond extracts add Baileys Irish Cream.

 Serve in mugs with marshmallows, if desired.

Tito's Copper Mug

The signature mug for our famous Tito’s American Mule.

100% of net proceeds go to our nonprofit partners.

Give the Gift of Tito's this Father's Day

Mix up a Tito's Handmade Vodka infusion for his favorite cocktail.

Here's what we're mixing this weekend:

Get Fired up for a Smokin’ Summer

17 Easy Blender Cocktails That Make Any Day Feel Like Vacation

I would ask if you like frozen drinks, but who doesn’t? Maybe you don’t like drinking them all the time, but it’s hard to deny that a cold, sweet, slushie cocktail can make pretty much any afternoon or evening better. And while it’s certainly fun to sip one at a bar or restaurant (outside, preferably), it’s also great to whip up a batch of easy blender cocktails to drink with friends on your porch or out in the yard.

Here’s the tea: If you own a blender, you are capable of making a blender cocktail. It’s literally as easy as gathering ingredients, throwing them in, and whizzing everything together to the perfect consistency of drinkable slush. Plus, it’s easy to swap certain ingredients for other ones—vodka for tequila, peaches for mangoes, lemons for limes, honey for simple syrup—based on your preferences, or what you have on hand.

The next time you invite people over, make sure you have the ingredients for at least one of these easy blender cocktails. They’re so tasty that you can totally make ’em without booze, if that’s what you feel like. Either way, drink up!

Go for the Gold with White Russian Cake Pops

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The 15 Best Low-Carb And Keto-Friendly Cocktails You Can Sip On

Sad but true: Most cocktails are loaded with carbs (specifically sugars) because of the sodas, juices, and syrups used in them, says nutritionist Charlotte Martin, RDN, CPT. Even drinks labeled &ldquohealthy&rdquo or &ldquoskinny&rdquo usually just swap simple syrup for agave nectar or honey and still rack up the sweet stuff.

Honestly, at most bars, low-carb cocktails (other than your trusty vodka sodas) just don't exist on the menu. So you'll need to learn how to craft your own order.

&ldquoWhen it comes to choosing low-carb alcoholic drinks, stick with clear liquors, like vodka, gin, and silver tequila," says Martin. (Typically, these picks contain zero grams of carbs.)

While you're at it, though, make sure that clear liquor is also unflavored. You didn't really think that sweet tea vodka was sugar-free, did you?

Of course, you also have to think about what you mix your carb-free booze with. &ldquoStick with zero-calorie mixers like soda water, seltzer water, or sparkling water, and add a squeeze of a fresh lemon or lime wedge if you need a boost of flavor,&rdquo Martin says. (Her go-to order is silver tequila, sparkling water, a splash of OJ or grapefruit juice, and extra limes.)

Looking for something fancier? If you're ready to take your low-carb cocktail game to the next level, you can also DIY some pretty legit concoctions. Get started with these low-carb takes on all of your favorite adult beverages.

25 Cocktail Recipes That Are Paleo-Approved

We all know that consuming alcohol isn’t exactly encouraged on the paleo diet, but most paleo experts agree that if you’re eating clean, it’s okay to enjoy one of the “cleaner” drinks every now and then. So give one of these paleo cocktails a try!

1. Sparkling Peach Sangria
This beautiful sangria is made with fresh peaches, sprigs of fresh thyme, moscato, and champagne, prosecco, or sparkling wine for an elegant touch. Allowing the flavors to infuse for several hours before serving ensures the best peachy flavor in this drink.

Photo: Oatmeal With A Fork

2. Family Friendly Strawberry Margarita
Last but not least, I want to share this non-alcoholic margarita the whole family can enjoy. It’s made with rub red grapefruit (including the pith—you’re trying to replicate a margarita flavor here), apple, apple juice, frozen strawberries, and maple syrup.

3. Super Easy Paleo Sangria
For a simpler sangria, choose your favorite white wine, and your favorite fruits, and chop the fruit to soak in the wine. That’s it! I would use strawberries, oranges, and maybe cherries. Use whatever you like, and you’ll be bound to end up with a fantastic drink perfect for enjoying on the porch.

4. Spicy Manhattan Cocktail
Manhattan was my grandfather’s favorite drink, and I’ve heard so many stories from my dad and aunts and uncles about being made to learn the mixing process as kids so they could do it for him! While I never mixed my granddad a Manhattan, this recipe still feels a bit nostalgic to me.

5. Paleo Strawberry Daiquiri
This strawberry daiquiri is fruity and sweet with frozen strawberries, lime juice, orange juice, honey, rum or potato vodka, and a fresh strawberry for garnish. I could even imagine tweaking this recipe by using different frozen fruits of a similar sweetness. Blackberry daiquiri, anyone?

6. Grilled Mango Habanero Margarita
This is one of my favorite margarita recipes, and I’m not surprised that it comes from one of my personal favorite paleo bloggers. This margarita involves grilling your mango first for an amazing flavor and mixing it with honey, lime juice, tequila, brandy, and a habanero pepper.

7. Paleo Mojito
This drink is so simple to make that you hardly need a recipe. Once you’ve gotten hold of your fresh mint, limes, rum, and club soda, you’ll just need a bit of stevia and you’ll be well on your way to homemade mojitos on a warm evening. Kids love this one if you make a version without the rum!

8. Blackberry Mint Julep
This yummy drink is made with fresh blackberries, mint leaves, coconut sugar, and bourbon. It’s fruity, refreshing, and super relaxing with that bit of bourbon. If you’re eating clean and enjoying alcohol only occasionally, you can certainly allow yourself to enjoy this easy mint julep every once in awhile.

9. Blackberry Tequila Mojito
Tequila is a generally low-toxic liquor, and adding citrus can help level out the insulin spike from drinking alcohol, so this is okay for an occasional treat. Good thing, too, as it’s totally delicious with fresh blackberries, mint leaves, soda water, lime, and a handful of ice.

10. Simple Paleo Margarita
This margarita recipe uses just blanco tequila, fresh-squeezed lime juice, and a homemade honey syrup, which you can choose to infuse with herbs if you wish. There are also some helpful tips about choosing a margarita type and brand.

11. Maple Ginger, and Citrus Sangria
This unique sangria is made with pinot grigio and spiced rum with maple sugar, ginger root, orange and lemon juices, and mint leaves. You’ll use the maple syrup to create a ginger syrup you can hold onto for future use. It’s spicy, sweet, and an amazing compliment to the other flavors in this drink.

12. Paleo Berry Sangria
This sophisticated sangria is perfect for a backyard picnic, and is made with red wine, Gran Marnier, brandy, oranges, lemon, lime, mulberries, cherries, and raspberries. If you can’t get any mulberries, try using blackberries instead for a fun twist. Add club soda for some sparkling action.

13. NorCal Margarita
This margarita couldn’t possibly be any easier to make. It has only three ingredients, and a beautiful clear, frosty look. You’ll need top-shelf tequila (preferably resposado or anejo), a single lime, and club soda. That’s it! This recipe also includes a few facts on what makes this particular margarita a little easier on your body.

14. Skinny Margaritas Two Ways
These two recipes are for a creamy frozen margarita made with coconut yogurt, pineapple, and mint, and a margarita on the rocks with ginger powder, stevia, and soda water. It’s your choice—if you’re making margaritas for two, why not try one of each and share them?

15. Bloody Mary
Now, we can’t fool ourselves into pretending an alcoholic drink is actually as good a choice as a salad. But if you’re going to indulge (you deserve it), it can’t hurt to at least squeeze a veggie or two in there, can it? This bloody mary is paleo-friendly and oh so good.

16. Maple Mint Vodka Spritzer
This easy and refreshing drink is made with handfuls of fresh mint, dark maple syrup (if you get grade B, it has more of the minerals and nutrients than grade A), vodka, and seltzer water. This drink is perfect for sipping with friends outside on a warm day.

17. Ginger Margaritas
These margaritas are naturally-sweetened with a homemade ginger-lime simple syrup. I don’t usually recommend using agave syrup as it’s quite processed, so honey could make a third alternative in your simple syrup. This recipe could also be infused with herbs!

18. Watermelon Margaritas
One of the best margaritas I’ve ever had was a watermelon one, but I’m sure it was loaded with not so good ingredients. This homemade version is much better, with silver tequila, freshly-squeezed lime juice, triple sec, watermelon puree, and wedges of lime and watermelon for garnish. Salt up your rim and have a sip.

19. Kombucha Margarita
Adding kombucha to your margarita makes it a bit healthier than a classic margarita. But don’t worry—you’ll still use tequila, triple sec, and fresh squeezed lime juice in this recipe that’s tangy, fizzy, sweet, and refreshing when you’d like a drink to relax with.

20. Tangerine and Thyme Martini
This martini is made with vodka, tangerine juice, and a homemade honey thyme simple syrup. You’ll need water, honey, and sprigs of fresh thyme. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try this recipe with other herbs or juices and customize your flavor.

21. Easy Paleo Tequila
This margarita has only four ingredients, and one of them is just ice. You’ll need juice limes, raw honey, and 100% pure agave tequila. Keep it simple and keep it (fairly) clean. If you don’t have a shaker, just stir vigorously and call it a day, right?

22. Rosemary Grapefruit Margaritas
To make this margarita paleo, simply use coconut or maple sugar when you make your rosemary simple syrup. Coconut sugar will have a more neutral flavor, while maple syrup will add a lovely hint of maple that would be amazing with grapefruit and rosemary.

23. Classic Paleo Mojito
This pretty mojito uses a shot each of gin, lime juice, mint leaves, ice, and a splash of club soda. For a fun twist, add a bit of 100%, unsweetened cranberry juice as well (or another tart juice). You’ll get an extra burst of flavor fro the juice, and a beautiful sunset color.

24. Hot Buttered Rum Batter
Want a nice mug of hot buttered rum on a chilly night? Mix up the “batter” with grass-fed butter, grade B maple syrup, and a blend of delicious spices and keep in the fridge to add to heated dark rum when you want it. The best part is it’s also good in hot coffee!

25. Bloody Mary Infused Vodka
I’m with this blogger. While I like the taste of a bloody mary, I prefer to eat my salads. This drink gives you a way to enjoy the taste without the salady feel—you’ll need grape tomatoes, celery, jalapeno, garlic, peppercorns, and vodka.

Skinny No-Hangover Cocktail

It’s the Tuesday after the 3-day weekend. Let’s have a drink!

My 13 year old BMW is falling apart. I got in it this morning and it was low on gas, the check engine light was lit up, and some other light came on that looked like a battery with a squiggly line in it. Ugh! One of my windows is completely broken so I can’t roll it up or down, but it keeps sliding half way down and letting in freezing cold air as I drive to work each morning. Which means before I get in it I have to open the door, palm each side of the window, and use all my strength to shove it back up. Then drive as softly as I can to not hit any bumps on the road and cause the window to slide back down. It’s getting ridiculous.

So rather than think about all my car issues, I’m going to do what any smart adult would do. Pour myself a cocktail and watch Real Housewives.

I love a fancy cocktail, but what I don’t love is the horrendous hangover you suffer thru the day after. You would think the hangover is from the alcohol, but really you get a hangover from all of the sugar that is in the juice and mixers. Plus, your body gets dehydrated because you’re usually not drinking enough water. This drink is the anti-hangover cocktail.

Even better? It’s only 120 teeny, tiny calories. Compare that to 550 calories in just 1 margarita. I could have 5 of these drinks instead. Don’t worry, I wouldn’t, my car problems aren’t that bad. I’m just saying that I could. But I won’t!

It is my go to drink to make at home or order when we go out. You must make the switch. You’ll thank me in the morning.

The Best Game Day Appetizer Recipes

Ya&rsquoll know by now I&rsquom a football fanatic&hellip and that I&rsquom extremely annoyed that the Patriots are in the Super Bowl! Boo&hellip

But none the lest, every year we host a Super Bowl party at my house so I&rsquom not stopping this year just because of a certain ahem&hellip Mr. Brady.

Which means you get to indulge on all the delicious appetizer and cocktail recipes that I&rsquom looking into making this year! Believe me, all of these recipes will make you drool! This first one is a definite must make, and you&rsquoll see why after you click through!

LOADED COWBOY QUESO is the ultimate Super Bowl dip! This EASY appetizer is loaded with velveeta, beer, pepper jack, black beans, Rotel, and sausage!

These sticky slow cooker chicken wings are bursting with Asian flavor! You&rsquod never know they&rsquore a healthier, paleo and whole30 compliant appetizer!

POMEGRANATE MARGARITAS filled with pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, tequila, orange liquor and a little something extra! Cheers to Margaritas!

Paleo Meatballs with a sweet Sriracha sauce! These sweet and spicy Paleo meatballs are easy to make in under 45 minutes.

Get game day ready with these healthier low calorie Grilled Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps! All the same great flavor with half the calories!

Mexican Chicken Enchilada Fries. Easy, CHEESY, and perfect for parties. Sweet potato fries topped with juicy chicken, enchilada sauce, black beans, and more.

The perfect Strawberry Mojito Recipe &ndash easy, fresh, minty, fizzy, limey and filled with sweet juicy strawberries for the most refreshing cocktail this summer!

Baked egg rolls stuffed with slow cooker shredded BBQ chicken and cheese, then served with a lightened up BBQ ranch dipping sauce are a delicious and easy appetizer!

Cheers with a WHITE WINE MARGARITA! This easy recipe for a crowd makes a fast pitcher of the best ever margaritas, simple and refreshing!

This crock pot buffalo chicken dip is made with cauliflower so it&rsquos packed with hidden veggies and extra creamy! It&rsquos a healthy, low carb and gluten free appetizer for game day!

CRISPY GARLIC PARMESAN CHICKEN WINGS &ndash baked instead of fried but these classic chicken wings are still as crispy and delicious as ever!

This Taco Pizza is the perfect mash-up for nights when you can&rsquot decide between tacos or pizza!

Making the Ultimate Margarita Recipe is easier than you think, only 5 ingredients and you&rsquore in Margarita Heaven! It&rsquos a winner every time!

Tequila Lime Shrimp Taco Bites &ndash Mini wonton cups filled with guacamole and topped with shrimp are the perfect, easy to make two-bite appetizer!

A game day appetizer everyone will be fighting over! Tender Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin Bites charred on the grill and served with a homemade creamy horseradish sauce! OMG!

Crispy Baked Chicken Wings made in the oven then tossed in a Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce. Believe me you&rsquoll be licking your fingers after this one!

This quick and easy, vegan homemade hummus features kale pesto and sun dried tomatoes. It&rsquos a healthy, gluten free appetizer for entertaining!

Asian Crockpot Meatballs covered in a sweet and spicy sauce you&rsquoll swoon over! This holiday appetizer recipe will be devoured in seconds!

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos. Slow cooker shredded Buffalo chicken, rolled inside a tortilla with cheese, then baked until golden. Easy and crowd-pleasing!

CHEESY BACON STUFFED PEPPERS, everything about this delicious appetizer is addicting! Perfect for the holidays! Top these little pepper bites with a dab of pepper jelly and I guarantee you&rsquoll be in a heaven!

Easy Parmesan and Roasted Garlic Baked Hummus Dip with Zucchini and Pimentos! A super simple gluten free baked hummus dip recipe that feeds a crowd!

Classic Buffalo Baked Chicken Wings, every one needs to have a classic wing recipe in their back pocket when it comes to Game Day!

Ginger Beer Fizz is a refreshing and easy cocktail recipe perfect for any occasion.

Creamy Jalapeno Goat Cheese Guacamole, guaranteed to be the best Guac you&rsquoll ever dive a chip into!

Fresh Simple Cucumber Bites topped with a zesty Herb Cream Cheese and sweet Piquillo Peppers. The perfect refreshing appetizer recipe for your next party!

A fun drink for any party, Apple Cider Moscow Mule, made with hard Apple Cider, Citron Vodka, Ginger Beer, lime juice, and a hint of cinnamon!

Garlic Herb infused Roasted Shrimp served with a homemade Cocktail Sauce, the ultimate Holiday Party Appetizer!