You can prepare this low-cal cocktail in 2 minutes, says Emilie Yount, editor of Recipe4Living.com. For one serving, you’ll need: three or four mint leaves, a lime wedge, 1 oz. white rum, diet lemon-lime soda (such as Sprite Zero, Diet Sierra Mist, or Diet 7-Up), ice, and sugar (just for the rim of the glass!).
To prepare: Muddle mint leaves with white rum and the juice from lime wedge (1/8 of the lime). Muddling is done by lightly crushing the mint (just until the leaves bruise) using a mortar and pestle or whatever you have on hand. Just don’t shred the mint!
Run the squeezed lime wedge around the rim of the glass, and then dip the top of the glass in a shallow plate of granulated sugar to coat the rim. Pour the muddled mixture into your glass, fill with crushed ice, and top off with the diet soda.
Vitality Vodka Lemonade
Using a juicer, blend one cucumber, two celery stalks, one head of romaine lettuce, one lemon, one small piece of fresh ginger, and two green apples. Then, add vodka to taste.
“It’s unbelievably tasty and refreshing,” says Sergio Rojas, a certified nutritionist and owner of reDEFINED Fitness & Physical Therapy in Chicago, Ill.
Cocktail in a Snap (and Still Snap Your Jeans)
For cocktail enthusiast and weight loss coach Katy Gillis, it’s all about healthy, clean drinks that she can mix up in a snap!
To prepare: Mix one shot of vodka, one shot of Triple Sec (leave this out if you’re on a tighter calorie budget), and Tropicana Trop50 Raspberry Lemonade (to fill the martini glass). Shake it all with ice and pour it into a chilled martini glass. Add a twist of lemon and voila!
Botanical Gin Martini
Did you know gin has many health benefits and is also lower in calories than beer and wine? After all, it was developed as an alternative health remedy before it became a social drink. Try this Botanical Gin Martini created by bar manager Mark Aquilinio of Davio’s Northern Italian Steak House in Philadelphia, Pa.
Ingredients: a dash of dry vermouth, 2 oz. of Bombay Sapphire Gin, and one botanical ice cube at the base of the glass.
To prepare: Simply combine the vermouth, gin, and ice in a strainer, line the inside of a martini glass with frozen cucumber wheels, place one botanical ice cube at base of martini glass, strain the cocktail into your glass, and serve.
So, how do you make a botanical ice cube? Roughly chop two English cucumbers, leaving seeds and peels intact. Combine with 1 oz. of cilantro seeds and one cup of simple syrup (1/4 water 3/4 sugar) in a blender to puree. Strain the combination through a fine siv and freeze in silicone mold or some container with a wide surface area for shaving ice. It’ll make a great conversation starter at your next cocktail party!
Greenhouse Sage Margarita
“Sage is all the rage these days, with countless health benefits and a wonderfully distinct flavor that ranges from earthy to lemony fresh,” says Drew Jordan, cocktail enthusiast. “At Summer Winter restaurant in Burlington, MA, the power herb is sourced from the restaurant’s four-season, on-site greenhouse to create their Greenhouse Sage Margarita, where the camphor-like herb is complemented by winter citrus and a touch of blanco tequila.”
Sage will not only improve one’s memory, but it also relieves sore throats, aids in digestion, and calms allergies. To prepare this wellness elixir, mix 2 oz. of Don Julio Blanco tequila, 1 oz. of Cointreau, 2 oz. of fresh squeezed lime juice, 2 oz. of Simple Syrup, and 3 fresh sage leaves.
Combine all ingredients in a tumbler, shake, and pour into traditional margarita glass.
“FIVE Restaurant located inside the Hotel Shattuck Plaza in Berkeley, Calif, just put together a healthy spirited cocktail in honor of President Obama,” says PR maven Monica Powers.
Aptly called the “No. 44,” the ingredients include: 1 oz. Oban 14-year Scotch, 1 oz. grapefruit juice, 1 oz. pomegranate juice, 1/2 oz. of Felernum, a dash of orange bitters, brandied cherries, and orange peel to be used as a garnish.