So, although it’s only April here in CT, the summer weather is definitely here, at least for now, which leads me to think of my favorite summer pastimes: PARTIES! There’s nothing like going to a summer get together or hosting a cookout at your house. Since Memorial Day is about a month away, why not start thinking of some healthy drinks you can serve or partake in when you attend a party? I did some searching and have managed to find some great healthy cocktails that are not too difficult to make.
Another great idea? In this economy invite every person who’s coming to bring something. Have a potluck style drink setting. Have each person bring some of their own personal favorite cocktails. This allows everyone at your party to have a choice, and your healthy drinks are still within reach. Above all else, have fun, enjoy the recipes, and don’t drive drunk!!
I loved the recipe for the Blueberry Lime Margarita. Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits, and lime always adds a light summer flavor for your drinks. Margaritas are a great summer drink, but can be loaded with sugar. The recipe below is much healthier and weights in at only 125 calories per serving, but shaving off some extra calories is easy. There is always a way to make healthy drinks even healthier with some improvising!
Blueberry Lime Margarita
Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila, if using, in a blender and blend until smooth. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve.
2 cups ice
1 cup frozen blueberries – (Swap out for fresh blueberries!!)
1 cup blueberry nectar – (Try sugar free blueberry syrup and slice the sugar/carbs!)
1/4 cup seltzer
2 tablespoons frozen limeade – (Concoct your own Limeade: Juice of one lime (about 2 Tbsp), 1 tsp Stevia, 8 oz. Water)
1 tablespoon lime juice
3 ounces tequila, optional
1 lime wedge
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to makeover a recipe for drinks. Just by using diet syrups in place of fruit nectar, and making your own Limeade, you can cut the sugars in a drink almost in half, leaving you room for other things you may want to put on your plate without undoing your whole diet.
When I think summer, I always think Raspberries. They’re delicious, packed with antioxidants, and they’re kind of cute looking too. I took this recipe for a Raspberry Wine Spritzer (spritzers are always a healthy option), and cut the sugar here too! This guy weighs in at 168 calories, and isn’t bad for you to indulge in. The best part about this drink is it can be made virgin for party guests who might not drink!!
Combine seltzer, raspberries, mint and raspberry-flavored syrup (or Chambord) in a small pitcher. Pour over ice.
2 cups seltzer
2/3 cup frozen raspberries (again, always go with fresh fruit!)
2 sprigs fresh mint
3 ounces raspberry-flavored syrup or Chambord (if you’re making this nonalcoholic, make sure to use sugar free syrup and save tons of calories).
Finally, I cannot get enough watermelon during the summer, and since I’ve turned into a Gin fan over the past year of be being legal, this combines them both, and doesn’t take much tweaking to make it a bit healthier (you’ll see!!) To make it virgin, simply omit the gin, and at only 158 calories, this is definitely a good pick! While this final drink does take a little more prep time (30-45 minutes), it’s definitely worth it. I recommend Bombay Sapphire for the gin, but we all have our preferences.
Watermelon Gin Fizz
1. Freeze 1 cup watermelon for garnish. Puree the remaining 4 cups watermelon. Strain; divide the juice among 4 ice-filled glasses.
2. Top each with 1 1/2 ounces gin, 2 tablespoons lime juice and 1/3 cup ginger ale. Garnish with the frozen watermelon and lime wedges.
5 cups diced watermelon, divided
6 ounces gin, divided
8 tablespoons lime juice, divided
1 1/3 cups ginger ale, divided (diet Ginger ale!! Easy peasy!)
Lime wedges for garnish
So, now that you know it is possible to make a healthy summer drink even HEALTHIER, why not try it out. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting in the kitchen, and if you want to keep your figure throughout the summer while still enjoying yourself, this is a great way to trim those extra calories. Now go on you party animal, start mixin’!