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Low-Calorie Cocktails for National Vodka Day


Happy National Vodka Day! Perhaps the favorite spirit of the low-cal cocktail-aficionado, vodka comes from the Russian word for water, “voda,” and is required by law in the United States to be "without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color"—not counting added flavors such as mandarin, jalapeno, and marshmallow—making it the perfect neutral palette for most cocktails. And any flavor variations you detect are more than likely due to alcohol content more than brand. At 64 calories an ounce and with no added or residual sugars, it’s the mixers you’ve got to watch out for in your vodka cocktails.

Go beyond the vodka soda and try out some of these better-tasting yet waistline-friendly libations to celebrate the holiday.


Basil Gimlet
175 calories, 9 grams sugar


2 ounces SKYY Vodka
1 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce honey solution*
5 small basil leaves (for garnish)

Fill shaker with ice and first three ingredients. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve in a martini glass garnished with basil.
*For the honey solution, mix one part honey and one part hot water.

Recipe courtesy of Top Chef Masters winner Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

The Ultimat Spiced Apple
262 calories, 12 grams sugar

3 ounces Ultimat Vodka
3 ounces spiced apple cider
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Orange zest (optional, for garnish)
Cinnamon stick (optional, for garnish)

Combine first three ingredients in a mug. Top with orange zest and cinnamon stick for a fall flourish.

The Savoy
200 calories, 11 grams sugar

3-5 red grapes
3-5 white grapes
2 ounces SKYY Vodka
1 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce agave syrup

In a rocks glass, muddle two red grapes and two white grapes. Shake vodka, lemon juice, and agave together with ice and strain over muddled grapes. Garnish with a skewer of grapes.

Recipe courtesy of Top Chef Masters winner Chef Marcus Samuelsson.

Photo credit: Campari America


As an editor at SHAPE I have the chance to learn about the healthiest ways to cook, eat, and live from all sorts of experts but I’m also a single girl living in NYC with a busy schedule, active social life, and chocolate cravings. I’m here to share what works for me—and where I need a little help from you.


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