What to Drink Now: The Skinny on Skinny Cocktails

This is the year of the “skinny cocktails.” They are everywhere. It is understandable; we are getting into swimsuit season, and 90 degrees in May tells me it is going to stick around for a while, so the necessity to enjoy refreshing cocktails is high, and the fact that they might be figure-friendly is a bonus.  I have been testing recipes and pre-mixed drink selections lately to see if these “skinny cocktails” are as tasty as they say they are, and some certainly are….they do, however, not lack calories.  They are lower than some of the typical summertime drinks like a pina colada or frozen margarita, but it’s not like drinking a cup of green tea or diet soda.  Follow the jump for a few favorites from the bunch I’ve been testing.  Some selections were sent for editorial consideration.

Lulu B has created a whole line of pre-mixed cocktails made from high quality spirits and flavors each with less than 50 calories per serving (a serving is 1.5 oz). They are good, though, and delicious simply served over ice.  My favorite of the line is the Lulu B. Mojito made from light rum, natural mint and lime, with 37 calories per serving.  I poured two servings (3 ounces) into a rocks glass over ice and added club soda and a squeeze of fresh lime. It’s less than 80 delicious calories and great for sipping poolside.  Other flavors include CranCosmo, 38 calories per serving; Margarita, 38 calories per serving; and Chocolate Martini, 48 calories per serving, but just as good as a bowl of chocolate ice cream but with a 15% alcohol. Available at various Goody-Goody locations.

As Carol noted last week, another ready to drink brand has just launched in Texas from Fort Worth native Britt West, Co- Founder, Eppa Wine Company.  Eppa Superfruit Sangria is a completely organic cocktail made from Organic Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah grapes from California’s Mendocino County blended with juice from organically grown pomegranates, blueberries, Mediterranean blood oranges, acai berries, and natural citrus essences.  The focus for the brand was to create a beverage that would appeal to wine lovers, those focused on a healthy lifestyle and people who were simply looking for an all natural beverage that still delivers a little bit of a kick.  At just 120 calories per 5 ounce serving, this sangria is available at various Whole Foods locations.

And, we can’t forget the queen of skinny cocktails, the Skinny Girl, who has also recently gotten into the wine biz with her Skinny Wine.  I will stick to her cocktails, though.  I recently tried the White Cranberry Cosmo with vodka, Triple Sec and white cranberry, and a touch of lime juice.  I liked it. It wasn’t too sweet, too fruity or too strong (all attributes in a traditional Cosmo), but easy to enjoy anytime of day.  100 calories per 4 ounce serving. Available at various Sigel’s locations.

For mixing your own cocktails, these options each come in at less than 200 calories each.

You can still have your margarita, just with half the calories.  This one comes from Cointreau mixologist, Kyle Ford.

Margarita Fizz
3/4 oz. Blanco Tequila
3/4 oz. Cointreau
3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
Club Soda
Lime wheel
Directions – Combine first three ingredients in shaker and shake for about 10 second. Strain into an ice filled Collins glass.  Top with Club Soda.  Garnish with a lime wheel. 130 calories.

The Cool & Skinny
1 oz Lucid Absinthe
3 oz fresh brewed peach tea
1/3 tsp. Orange Blossom Honey
5 Mint Leaves
2 oz of diet ginger ale
Slice of fresh white peach
Directions – Muddle the Orange Blossom Honey and the mint leaves.  Add Lucid and the fresh brewed peach tea.  Shake in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into a rocks glass over ice.  Top with diet ginger ale and garnish with a slice of white peach. 120 calories.

Skinny Local
2 oz Camarena Silver Tequila
1/2 of a Lemon, Quartered
8 Mint Leaves
1 tablespoon of Sugar Free Sweetener
3 oz Soda Water
Directions – Muddle lemon, mint and sweetener in a mixing glass. Add tequila and ice. Shake and pour all contents of shaker into a tall glass. Top with soda water and stir gently. Garnish with a lemon wedge. 120 calories.

Refresher Cocktail
2 oz Russian Standard Vodka
2 oz Coconut Water
1 oz lemon juice
.5 oz agave nectar
8 grapes
Directions – Shake Russian Standard Vodka, Coconut Water, lemon juice and agave nectar with ice.  Strain into a chilled martini glass and drape grapes over the rim. 180 calories.

Cabana Boy
2 oz. TY KU Citrus Liqueur (made from the Asian spirit Soju with yuzu, mangostein, Goji berry, honeydew and green tea)
2 slices of Jalapenos, ribs and seeds removed
2 slices of peeled ginger
Directions – Add the ginger and pepper to a shaker and muddle together. Add the TY KU with ice and shake until very cold.  Strain into a rocks glass over ice. 86 calories.

Skinny Shandy
8 oz light lager beer, like Heineken Light or Amstel Light
4 oz lemon flavored setlzer water
Squeeze fresh lemon
Directions – Pour the beer and seltzer over ice in a tall glass, garnish with a sqeeze of fresh lemon.  Less than 100 calories.

Or, keep it simple and pour yourself a 4 ounce glass of your favorite bubbly for just 85 calories each.