These diet-friendly drinks don't skimp on flavor.
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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.
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On February 13, 2012 country singer Miranda Lambert tweeted about her love for a cocktail she calls a "randarita" (which is a concoction of Bacardi and Crystal Light). She even made Lady Gaga a fan.
One Twitter follower replied with her own touch: with vanilla Bacardi and pink lemonade Crystal Light. @Jaymidann tweets that it "tastes like cotton candy!"
Vitality Vodka Lemonade
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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)
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For cocktail enthusiast and weight loss coach Katy Gillis, it’s all about healthy, clean drinks that she can mix up in a snap!
"I send this quick recipe [for a raspberry lemonade martini] to my clients who are looking to cut down on the calories but still indulge and enjoy life with a cocktail now and then," she says.
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!
Eppa Superfruit Sangria
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Eppa Sangria is the first certified organic sangria. It boasts just 120 calories per glass and contains twice as many antioxidants as a glass of red wine. And the best part is, each ready-to-serve bottle is only $12. Just pour it over ice and garnish with an orange slice.
If you want something with even more flavor, try the Eppa Punch by mixing one bottle of Eppa Sangria, one green apple, cranberries, oranges, and cinnamon sticks. Just chop the apples and cranberries and pour the mixture into a decanter with a bottle of Eppa Sangria. Allow the blend to chill in the fridge for an hour and enjoy!
Botanical Gin Martini
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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!
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Ginger is an ancient Asian remedy for digestive problems and can ease an upset stomach. At La Costa Resort and Spa, their Ginger Elixir, a non-alcoholic "ayurvedic cocktail" from the Legends Bistro and the Spa Café, is best served before a meal.
Blend one cup of ginger juice, one cup of lemon juice, one cup of water, and one-fourth of a cup of honey and serve!
Photo Credit: La Costa Resort and Spa
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At celebrity hot spot Lexington Social House in Hollywood, bartenders serve a new, light and citrus-y cocktail that’s perfect for spring. It’s called The Skimlet (created by Bar Manager Kyle Ackley).
Ingredients: Voli Lyte Vodka (a brand-new, reduced-calorie brand of vodka), pineapple juice (known for its detoxifying properties), lime juice, agave nectar, and fresh tarragon (which aids in digestion and contains more 70 phytonutrients).
Photo Credit: Lexington Social House
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"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.
Photo Credit: FIVE Restaurant
The Dú Hammam
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How about a cocktail made with green tea just in time for spring? French tea brand Le Palais des Thes came up with their own "Les Créations" using their tea to make "Thé du Hammam," which is green tea delicately scented with berries, rose, and orange blossom. It’s iced and blended with sparkling wine and a touch of apricot liqueur. You can find the complete recipe here.
Photo Credit: Kathy YL Chan
Greenhouse Sage Margarita
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"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.
Photo Credit: Summer Winter