We tracked down some of the best healthy ingredients for your favorite cocktails—cheers!
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Vodka is one of the lightest liquors with an average of 98 calories per 1.5 ounces and zero sugar. Three Olives Vodka is quadruple distilled and fits in well in a dry martini (no sugary mixers needed). Tito's makes a nice wallet-friendly option, or you can go small-batch with Reyka from Iceland.
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Gin is naturally sugar-free and can range from 96 calories up to 120 calories per 1.5 ounces. Opt for Gordon's for the fewest calories per ounce, or Hendricks for another low-calorie option. Greenhook Ginsmith's offers a crisp, small batch from organic-grown wheat with juniper, ginger, cinnamon, and chamomile elements.
Photo: Greenhook Ginsmiths
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Tequila wins for being a sugarless liquor that has a both naturally tart and sweet edge (the house stuff behind the bar probably won't offer the same smoothness, of course). Opt for silver when possible like Jose Cuervo Especial or Don Julio Blanco. Silver is usually 100% distilled agave with no additives (less of a hangover!). Go for gold with Patrón Añejo, if you're looking for a sweeter or more aged taste. EIther way, tequila will only cost you 96 calories. (Related: 8 Skinny Summer Cocktails Under 200 Calories)
Photo: Jose Cuervo
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You might not believe it, but good ole No. 7 actually has no more sugar than vodka and gin. As long as you don't pair it with sugar-bomb soda, you've got a perfectly sippable low-sugar drink. If Tennesse whiskey isn't your thing, choose a rye from Bulleit or a Kentucky bourbon like Wild Turkey (all under 110 calories per shot).
Photo: Jack Daniels
Spirit: Smirnoff Sourced
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You're probably a bit skeptical about pre-mixed options, but these new drinks from Smirnoff pass the test. The new line of vodka mixes are each 30 percent ABV with all natural flavors, meaning no high fructose corn syrup. Just add seltzer or soda for an easy cocktail, no shaker necessary.
Mixer: R.W. Knudsen's Low Sodium Veggie Juice
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This option from R.K. Knudsen has no sugar added, so you don't need to worry about adding insult to hungover injury during brunch. (Try it in these Spicy Bloody Mary Recipes to Heat Up Your Brunch Game.)
Photo: R.W. Knudsen
Mixer: Sparkling Water
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Sparkling water is an easy way to replace tonic water or high-calorie juice mixers. Dry Sparkling has several flavors that pair well with any liquor. At only 45 calories (and 11 grams of sugar), you won't be breaking any healthy drinking rules.
Photo: Dry Sparkling
Mixer: Cranberry Juice
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Cranberry juice has a notoriously bad reputation for being high in sugar (even though it's a relatively tart juice). If you're going for the tried and true vodka-cranberry, make sure the mix has nothing extra added, such as Ocean Spray 100 percent cranberry juice.
Photo: Ocean Spray
Mixer: Lighter Tonic Water
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If switching your go-to gin and tonic to a gin and soda seems like sacrilege, try out a naturally lighter tonic as a baby step. Fever Tree's lighter take on tonic has half the calories and only natural sugars, so you won't get that syrupy aftertaste. (Take your booze on the go with these Healthy Pre-Made Drinks.)
Photo: Fever Tree
Mixer: Pure Lime Juice
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If you don't have time for fresh-squeezed lime juice (#beenthere), have a natural bottled version, such as Santa Cruz Organic Pure Lime Juice, on-hand for your margarita needs. Pro tip: It can even work as a stand-in for vinegar in homemade dressings.
Photo: Santa Cruz Organic
Mixer: Coconut Water and Coconut Milk
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Liqueur: Domaine de Canton
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If you're looking to step things up with your mixology game, this Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur is as potent as it is tasty. It's made from crystallized baby ginger, cognac, orange blossom honey, and vanilla and will run you only 70 calories per ounce.
Photo: Domaine de Canton
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Made from pomegranate, vodka, and a touch of tequila, PAMA liqueur is an easy addition to any champagne cocktail, mojito, or cosmopolitan. Think outside the box by soaking fruit, or using it as a glaze for grilling.