Ready for some fun? Because we're about to share 8 low calorie drinks to order at a bar.
We’re all about health here. But what about those moments when you just wanna have some fun?
In our opinion, having a good social life is part of having a healthy life overall. So if you want to go out with friends, do it!
When you’re aiming to live a healthy lifestyle, though, drinking can seem to go against everything you’re working towards. Alcohol obviously isn’t healthy, and oftentimes cocktails are packed full of sugar and extra calories.
So what do you do on those nights out with your friends when you do want to have a drink? What about your friend’s birthday dinners, or nights out dancing?
If you choose not to drink altogether, that’s fair enough, but some of us want to drink — albeit with healthy alcoholic drinks.
Deciphering what is “better” or “worse” when it comes to drinks though is a tough feat. Cocktails can contain any number of ingredients, and beer, wine, and spirits all have different calorie counts.
To take the headache out of it, we've picked out a few go-to options that you can order at the bar without stressing about it. Though they’re still not “healthy” strictly speaking, they’re lower in calories, which can help you stick to your goals even while having fun!
The 8 Best Low Calorie Alcoholic Drinks to Order at a Bar
Spirits and Soda Water
While alcohol itself does pack a punch calorie-wise, the mixers don’t help. Think about it: If you add a calorie-heavy soda or juice to alcohol, you can easily rack up 200+ calories in one drink.
The most basic tip for choosing low-cal options is to opt for soda water with your spirits instead of something sugary like soda. You can order any spirit with plain soda water, and some bars will even serve it up with a lemon or lime wedge alongside.
Tequila, Gin, and Scotch all make for a refreshing cocktail-esque drink to sip on while at the bar. Just choose your favourite spirit and ask for it with soda.
If that sounds too boring for you, a splash of juice can also be added. Cranberry, orange, and grapefruit are commonplace at most bars, but you’ll have to ask to see what’s available.
Gin and Light Tonic
Who doesn’t love a classic G&T? It’s a crowd-pleaser, but you might not realise just how much sugar is hiding in there. Regular tonic packs a punch with 34 calories and 9g of sugar per 100 ml.
To make your G&T lower in calories and sugar, opt for a diet or light tonic instead of the classic. Diet tonic usually contains artificial sweeteners and will have no calories or sugar. In comparison, light tonic water will be closer to 15 calories and 3g sugar per 100 ml, still making it a great option.
Do you think wine is the best alcohol but want a lighter way to drink it? Bars that serve wine by the glass may be able to make you a wine spritzer. It sounds fancy, but it’s just a mix of wine and soda water.
Typically, a wine spritzer will have a smaller amount of wine, which equals fewer calories. Topped up with soda water, though, you’ll hardly realise the difference. Plus, it’ll force you to take in the alcohol at a slower pace, which leads to less chance of a hangover tomorrow.
If the idea of straight spirits is off-putting to you, flavoured vodka just might be your answer.
Flavoured vodka is sweeter, but adds less sugar to your drink than mixing with soda would. Some bars will carry a whole range of fruit-flavoured vodkas, so ask the bartender what they have on offer. You never know how many good drinks you could make with different vodka flavours!
If you’re feeling bold, you can have your flavoured vodka on the rocks (on ice), but it’s also nice when mixed with soda water for a low-cal but sweeter option.
Rum and Diet Coke
I know that vodka soda gets boring after a while, and if you’re a fan of rum, odds are you've mixed it with coke before. Well, I’ve got some good news for you: You can still make rum and coke a healthier option, by using diet coke instead of the classic.
I know it may not taste 100% the same, but it’ll likely be close enough that you'll still enjoy it. It’s easy to keep drinking mixed drinks without realising how much sugar you’re racking up, so choosing diet soda can be a huge help.
Mojito (With Half/ No Sugar)
As it is, mojitos are already relatively low calorie cocktails. If you want to make yours healthier though, simply ask the bartender to use half the amount of sugar syrup — or skip it altogether if you want.
When you get used to drinks with less sugar, you’ll probably be surprised at just how sweet they were before. By opting for less sugar syrup, you can save anywhere between 50-100 extra calories per drink, which can add up throughout the night.
If you’re a beer-drinker, you’ll be pleased to hear that light beers are a good low-calorie option at the bar. Coors Light, Corona Light, and Michelob Ultra are all relatively low calorie, while still being cool and refreshing.
You might think that all beers are created equal, but watch out for high-strength beers and IPAs which can be much more calorie-dense.
Of course, many of these low-calorie drinks aren’t as fun as fruity cocktails.
The perfect remedy for when you’re craving something special is to order a sea breeze. It’s basically a vodka cranberry, but with grapefruit juice added in. Because grapefruit juice has fewer calories and sugar the cranberry, it makes this drink a lighter option. Vodka calories are notoriously low when it comes to drinks, making this option is a winner!
To keep it on the healthier side, you can always ask the bartender to use mostly grapefruit juice with just a splash of cranberry.
In general, spirits are lower in calories per serving than beer and wine. The alcohol with the least calories is vodka, which only has 64 calories per 30 ml shot.
Without getting into the reality that alcohol is not healthy, the healthiest alcohol to drink are ones that don't contain extra sugar or heaps of carbs. Many people who want to drink and maintain their health reach for spirits and soda for this reason. Another alternative is red wine, which is said to contain antioxidants.
Hard spirits like gin, whisky, vodka and rum are typically low in sugar. Sometimes beer can be low in sugar, but still contains more carbs than spirits do.
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Now that you know the best low calorie alcohol drinks to order at a bar, you'll be ready to go out, without sabotaging your health goals. Let me know what your go-to drink order is in the comments section below.
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