5 Tasty Lo-Cal Cocktails To Lighten Up Your Weekend

By: Daniel Villarreal
8.16.2012

Most cocktails are secretly desserts masquerading as drinks, with sweeteners helping bar-goers pack on the pounds.

That's why we hit up a bar last night to try a few lo-cal variations of some of our favorite cocktails.

That's right! You can party on the light side without choking down low-calorie swill. We got positively smashed last night while testing these and still woke up feeling light as a feather—low-cal drinks bring the fun and flavor.

Naturally, you'll want to avoid any drink that comes with sugar, lots of fruit, chocolate, cream, sweet and sour mixers or non-diet sodas as key ingredients. If you like sweetners, just ask for a "splash" or a teensy bit to flavor the drink. Plus, tip your bartender so they don't get annoyed.

Also remember that most liquors range from 64 to 75 calories per ounce with rum, gin and tequila on the low end and vodka and whiskey on the high end. As most gay bartenders tend to pour heavy, you'll likely have two shots (three ounces) in every drink.

But unlike light beers and wines, basic liquors contain no carbs. Watch out though—flavored or spiced liquors (like Smirnoff black cherry vodka and Captain Morgan's spiced rum) both have small amounts of sugar.

Okay, enough nutritional facts... onto the drinks!

Admittedly, we "borrowed" one or two of these from Oprah (God bless her black soul), but others we got from our friendly gayboorhood bartenders.

Plus, we tried them all, so you know they'll be good—trust, gurl. Trust.

1) LOW-CAL CUBA LIBRE: Just some rum, Diet Coke and a lime or two will start a tasty revolucion in your boca. Rum gets a bad rap as "the most sugary liquor" because it's made from sugar cane, but despite its sweet flavor, the fermentation process actually burns its sugar content away leaving only 64 calories per ounce.

2) COSMO LIGHT: Vodka, lime juice and a splash of cranberry juice will do you right, Sex in the City style—if you must, add just a touch of sugary Triple Sec for accuracy. After that, enjoy it over ice or have it shaken into a martini glass for some extra sophistication-how very metropolitan.

3) SKINNY BLOODY: Get some peppered vodka over ice, throw in an olive, and add a splash or two of Bloody Mary mix along with juice from 3 limes or lemons, however you like it. If you're more in the mood for a dirty martini, just ask for a little olive juice instead. Small warning though: olive juice and Bloody Mary mix are salty and too much sodium will make you bloated, so go easy, girl.

4) OLD-TIMEY MARGARITA: The original margarita recipe only called for good tequila served up with sweet agave nectar and lime juice, not big sugar-filled fishbowls with Christmas lights hanging off of 'em like they serve at Mexican restaurants these days.

So while most bars don't stock agave nectar, you can still enjoy an old-timey margarita with diet Sprite or 7-Up to sweeten it up. Be sure to add a liberal amount of fresh lime juice for kick and you can even have salt on the rim, you naughty girl, you.

5) PINEAPPLE GIN SPRITZER: Give your night some tropical sparkle with a shot of gin, some soda and a splash of pineapple juice. It's a refreshing light drink and while the juice has sugar, a small amount won't wreck your diet, plus it nearly rids the drink of any alcoholic flavor.

Be warned, you will down this drink quickly and could end up just as drunk as we were last night—new lows, girl, new lows.

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