low calorie cocktails

Low calorie Cocktails

Alcohol can undo even the most determined weight loss efforts. It’s hard enough being careful with your eating. Exercising and getting enough sleep can also be a challenge. But if you drink then it gets much, much harder.

You could have been on track after a day of careful healthy eating. It’s been a stressful day at work so you have a large glass of wine. This relaxes you. So you have another. These two glasses add up to around 400 calories. Let’s presume this takes you over your maintenance calories. This is the amount of energy that you need to stay the same weight. These 400 extra calories a day would see you gain 2 lbs of fat over the course of a week. Or 4 stones (25kg) over a whole year.

No need to cut out cocktails altogether

At Diets Don’t Work PT we encourage planned treats and moderation. Advising a client to go tee-total is rarely realistic or sustainable. Instead, we try to come up with better alternatives. Small marginal improvements to nutrition and exercise are easier than sweeping change. So instead of avoiding cocktails altogether, just choose them wisely.

The first step when on a cocktail night out is to ask the bartender to make any cocktails from scratch. Many bars use sugary mixes that have been pre-made. But these will contain many more calories and sugar than their traditional counterparts.

1 – Old fashioned

Long before cosmos and Mojitos this, the first cocktail to be invented, was being enjoyed. They are classically simple with few ingredients to mount up the calories or confuse the taste buds.


Granulated sugar, sugar in the raw, or simple syrup can be used to sweeten the cocktail. Use whatever you have on hand. But be sparing.


1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
2 ounces bourbon
1/2 teaspoon water
1 twist of lemon peel


In a whiskey glass, add (a small amount, teaspoon) of sugar and bitters. Add bourbon and stir with a small bar spoon until sugar dissolves. Fill glass with ice and a splash of water. Stir once more and garnish with a lemon peel twist.

2 – Margarita

Without any pre-made sugary stuff, the margarita should be clean and simple. Mix in tequila, lime juice, and a tiny bit of agave syrup or Cointreau. Fresh lime juice and a dash of simple syrup is a-ok too.

3 – Bellini

These can be made with various fruits, but the usual version would be with peach puree. So you’ll be getting some vitamin C. And it comes in a champagne flute. Posh. Pour peach puree into chilled flute, add Prosecco. Stir gently.

4 – Cosmopolitan

Carrie and the girls in SATC didn’t look great by accident. They probably ate well but also knew which cocktails to order. Made of vodka, lime juice, and a splash of cranberry juice, a cosmopolitan barely goes over 150 calories.

5 – Mojitos

The modern Mojito has been brought down by a reliance on too-sweet mixers. Always get them made fresh. It should just white rum, fresh mint, soda water, lime, and just a touch of sugar. Be sure to ask your bartender to comply with the “touch of sugar” and you will be coming in around 150 calories. One of our favourite low-calorie cocktails.