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Summer Cocktails: 20 Refreshing and Guilt-Free Recipes!

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By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

summer cocktails

Are you looking for a guilt-free way to enjoy summer cocktails? You should generally limit your alcohol intake, but summer is a great time to have an adult beverage in the sun!

Less is better when it comes to drinking alcohol, but you don't have to eliminate alcoholic drinks entirely to stay healthy.

Simply choose lower-calorie summer cocktails, especially those containing fresh fruits or veggies, whenever possible.

Add nutritious mixers and ice, and steer clear of added sugars whenever possible.

Regardless of which summer cocktails you choose, limit your alcohol intake to 1 drink daily for women and 2 drinks per day for men.

Moderation is the key to staying healthy and looking and feeling your best!

To enjoy guilt-free summer cocktails without the extra calories, consider these healthier versions of refreshing summer alcoholic drinks!

Beat the heat and stay healthy with these summer nutrition tips!

Healthy Mixers

Choose from the following nutritious mixer ingredients when picking summer cocktails this season!

  • Strawberries
  • Pineapples
  • Fresh cherries
  • Bananas
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Mangoes
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Pomegranate
  • Other fruits
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Mint
  • Cucumbers
  • Olives
  • Vegetable juice
  • Celery
  • Pickles
  • Club soda
  • Coconut water
  • Coconut milk
  • Ice

Mix and match these ingredients with small amounts of alcohol this summer season!

Or, use a juicer to blend together a variety of fruits and veggies before adding ice and your favorite hard alcohol.

Mixers to Avoid

When picking healthier versions of summer cocktails, try to avoid the following alcoholic drink mixers:

  • Soda
  • Diet soda
  • Sweet tea
  • Lemonade
  • Other sugary drinks
  • Schnapps
  • Triple sec
  • Tonic water
  • Sugar

These ingredients contain a lot of sugar or artificial sweeteners, which aren't the best choice for your health.

Lower-Calorie Alcoholic Drink Options

If you're concerned about the calorie content of alcoholic drinks to manage a healthy weight, use a guide and choose these lower-calorie options:

  • 3 ounces of sweet vermouth: 140 calories
  • 5 ounces of red wine: 125 calories
  • 5 ounces of white wine: 120 calories
  • 4.6 ounces of Bloody Mary: 120 calories
  • 12 ounces of light beer: 105 calories
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof gin: 100 calories
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof rum: 100 calories
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof vodka: 100 calories
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof whisky: 100 calories
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof tequila: 100 calories
  • 1.5 ounces of 80-proof bourbon: 100 calories
  • 4 ounces of champagne: 85 calories
  • 4 ounces of mimosa: 75 calories

Alcohol itself contains 7 calories per gram and some mixed drinks contain nearly 600 calories, so be careful about which alcoholic drinks and mixers you choose.

Summer Cocktail Recipes

If you're looking for some healthy (ish) summer cocktail recipes, consider the following options!

Rosé Chilton

When you're in the mood for a lower-calorie summer cocktail with a hint of sweetness, try this simple Rosé Chilton vodka drink!

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces of Rosé vodka
  • 3 lemons
  • Club soda
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Pour the ice into two glasses.
  • Add 3 ounces of vodka and juice from 3 lemons.
  • Top off your drink with club soda and add a lemon wedge.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 2

Skinny Paloma

If you're in love with tequila, relax with this skinny Paloma summer cocktail treat!

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces of fresh grapefruit juice (from 2-3 red or pink grapefruits)
  • 3 ounces of tequila
  • 2 teaspoons of lime juice
  • Ice
  • Grapefruit-flavored sparkling water (optional)
  • Sea salt flakes (for the rim of the glass)

Instructions

  • Add ice, 1.5 ounces of tequila, 6 ounces of grapefruit juice, and 1 teaspoon of lime juice into each glass.
  • Stir to combine and add of a splash of sparkling water (optional).
  • Garnish with a lime wedge.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 2

Tequila Club Soda

This flavorful summer cocktail contains just 5 simple ingredients and helps you relax during the heat of the summer!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of tequila
  • Club soda
  • A squeeze of grapefruit juice
  • A squeeze of lime juice
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Fill a glass with ice.
  • Add tequila and top with club soda.
  • Garnish the drinks with a squeeze of grapefruit and lime juice.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

Rosé Raspberry Spritzer

Try this delicious Avaline Rosé raspberry spritzer with a hint of sweetness and bubbles.

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of Avaline Rosé
  • 1 liter of carbonated water
  • 1/4 cup of fresh raspberries

Instructions

  • Fill 4-5 glasses with ice.
  • Pour each glass half full with Avaline Rosé.
  • Top each with sparkling water and 3-4 tablespoons of raspberries.
  • Mix, serve, and enjoy this flavorful summer cocktail!

Servings: 4-5

Manhattan

This simple summer cocktail contains just four ingredients, and you don't have to feel guilty about having just one!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 ounces of rye whiskey
  • 1 ounce of sweet vermouth
  • Ice
  • Cherry for garnish

Instructions

  • Stir the whiskey, vermouth, and ice together in a mixing glass.
  • Strain the mixture into a martini glass.
  • Garnish with a cherry, serve, and enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

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Bourbon and Soda

A lower-calorie alcoholic option, bourbon with club soda makes the perfect summer cocktail to share with friends or family!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of bourbon
  • 1 bottle of unflavored club soda
  • Ice
  • Fruit of your choice for garnish

Instructions

  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Pour in the bourbon.
  • Fill the rest of the glass with club soda.
  • Garnish with fruit if you'd like.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary drinks make the perfect tasty summer cocktail, as they contain numerous healthy ingredients in addition to alcohol!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup of tomato or vegetable juice
  • 2 dashes of
  • 1 dash of hot pepper sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 2 green olives

Instructions

  • Salt the rim of a tall glass.
  • Fill the glass with ice cubes.

Pineapple, Ginger, Lemon, and Rum Cocktail

This refreshing summer cocktail recipe is loaded with vitamins and bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 2 pineapples with the rinds removed, cut into large sticks
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 ounce of rum
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Use a juicer to juice the fruits and ginger.
  • Combine 3/4 cup of fresh juice with rum in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake the mixture and strain it over a glass of ice.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1

Strawberry, Apple, Pear, and Gin Cocktail

Try the following nutritious summer cocktail recipe to quench your thirst, refresh you, and give you a boost of energy!

Ingredients

  • 3 apples
  • 3 pears
  • 12 strawberries
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 ounce of gin
  • Ice cubes

Instructions

  • Juice the fruits in a juicer.
  • Combine 3/4 cup of fresh juice with 1 ounce of gin in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake the mixture for about 20 seconds.
  • Strain the juice mixture over large ice cubes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

Avocado Keto Margarita

This delicious, avocado-keto summer cocktail contains vitamins and heart-healthy fats in addition to alcohol, and it's bursting with flavor!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces of tequila
  • 1 ounce of lime juice
  • 1 avocado, skinned and pitted
  • Pinch of salt
  • Chili lime salt
  • Ice
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro

Instructions

  • Combine lime juice, tequila, avocado, and salt in a blender with 2-3 cups of crushed ice.
  • Blend the mixture until the texture is smooth.
  • Pour it into a glass rimmed with chili lime salt over ice.
  • Garnish your summer cocktail with lime and cilantro.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 3

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White Wine Lime Spritzer

This refreshing summer cocktail is simple to make, but tastes delicious nonetheless!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 glass of chilled white wine
  • 1/2 glass of chilled club soda
  • Slice of lime

Instructions

  • 1. Pour wine to fill half of a glass.
  • 2. Add club soda to fill the rest of the glass.
  • 3. Garnish your drink with lime.
  • 4. Serve and enjoy this fun summer cocktail!

Servings: 1

Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

This flavorful pomegranate champagne summer cocktail is more nutritious than many, bursting with flavor, and simple to prepare!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon of pomegranate seeds
  • 4 ounces of champagne
  • 1 teaspoon of pomegranate juice

Instructions

  • 1. Place the pomegranate seeds in a Champagne flute.
  • 2. Pour champagne into the flute and add the pomegranate juice.
  • 3. Serve and enjoy this delicious summer treat!

Servings: 1

Sugarless Mojito

If you're looking for a guilt-free summer cocktail, consider this sugarless mojito recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces of 80-proof rum
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 1 lime (halved)
  • Club soda
  • 1 sprig of mint for the garnish
  • Ice

Instructions

  • 1. Pour rum into a tall glass.
  • 2. Break mint leaves apart and add them to the rum.
  • 3. Juice half of the lime into your drink.
  • 4. Top the mixture with ice.
  • 5. Fill your glass with club soda.
  • 6. Add a sprig of mint for the garnish, serve, and enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

Lemon Spritzer

This refreshing lemon spritzer makes the perfect fruity summer cocktail, and you don't have to worry about excessive calories!

Ingredients

  • 1.5 ounces of vodka
  • 0.5 ounces of lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Club soda
  • Lemon slices

Instructions

  • Combine vodka with lemon juice and ice in a shaker.
  • Shake the mixture well.
  • Pour it over ice, garnish it with lemon, serve, and enjoy!

Servings: 1

Green Vodka Lemonade

This green vodka cocktail provides many more nutrients than traditional vodka lemonade, and contains much less sugar!

Ingredients

  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 lemon, peeled
  • 1 small piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 green apples
  • Vodka to taste

Instructions

  • Using a juicer, blend together the cucumber, celery, lettuce, lemon, ginger, and apples.
  • Add vodka to taste in the desired amount.
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 2

Fruity Sangria

Enjoy the sweet taste of fruity sangria as a top summer cocktail pick this season!

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 1 green apple, chopped
  • Oranges, sliced
  • Cranberries, chopped
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Ice for serving
  • Club soda

Instructions

  • Combine the first 5 ingredients in a decanter.
  • Allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator for an hour.
  • Serve over ice, add club soda if you'd like, and enjoy!

Servings: 4-6

Watermelon Champagne Cocktail

Try a refreshing watermelon champagne cocktail this summer season or any time of the year!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of champagne
  • 1/2 cup of watermelon juice
  • A squeeze of lime juice

Instructions

  • Slice and puree the watermelon (remove seeds first) in a food processor.
  • Add 1/2 cup of strained watermelon juice to a wine glass.
  • Add a squeeze of juice from fresh lime.
  • Top the glass with champagne.
  • Serve this refreshing summer cocktail and enjoy!

Servings: 1

Skinny Lime Margarita

Enjoy a guilt-free, lower-calorie skinny lime margarita as a refreshing summer cocktail!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup of tequila
  • 1/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Stevia to taste
  • 2 cups of ice

Instructions

  • Combine all of the ingredients in a blender.
  • Blend until smooth
  • Serve and enjoy!

Servings: 2 cups

Spicy Green Tequila Cocktail

Try this green tequila summer cocktail recipe that's loaded with fruit and veggie juices in addition to alcohol!

Ingredients

  • 6 green apples
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 1/4 slice of jalapeño pepper (with seeds removed)
  • 1 ounce of tequila
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Juice together the first five ingredients in a juicer.
  • Combine 3/4 cup of fresh juice with 1 ounce of tequila in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  • Shake the mixture for 20 seconds.
  • Strain it over large ice cubes, serve, and enjoy this delicious summer cocktail!

Servings: 1

Kombucha Vodka

Kombucha offers many health benefits, as long as you choose brands low in sugar and free from artificial sweeteners.

Simply add a touch of vodka to your favorite kombucha drink to create a nutritious, tasty kombucha summer cocktail!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 glass of low-sugar kombucha
  • A touch of your favorite vodka
  • Ice

Instructions

  • Fill a glass with ice and kombucha.
  • Top the glass with vodka and stir.
  • Serve with the garnish of your choice (optional) and enjoy!

Servings: 1

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Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

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*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on summer cocktails.

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