What better time than summer to enjoy a cocktail? Here are some lower-calorie summer cocktails that happen to be red, white & blue – perfect for this holiday weekend! I prefer virgin cocktails myself because goodness knows I don’t need the extra calories the alcohol adds and I’ve been the designated driver in our family for the last 30 years.
According to the Ad Council, Drunk or impaired driving killed nearly 12,000 people in 2008. That’s one person KILLED every 45 minutes and that makes it everyone’s problem. What the statistic doesn’t tell you is the people injured or lives that are changed forever because of drunk driving. My husband is a fire fighter and he sees the results of driving drunk every day on the job. Don’t let a few cocktails ruin your life or worse, take a life. So please, this weekend, and any time you’re enjoying an adult beverage, designate a sober driver because buzzed driving IS drunk driving!
Summer Fruit Sangria Sparkler
- 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup brandy or cognac
- 1/4 cup orange liqueur
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 medium oranges, sliced
- 1 cup slice fruit in season – Suggestions: watermelon, apple, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple (leave peel/rind intact with the exception of pineapple for more color)
- 2 cups club soda, chilled
- Crushed ice and/or orange peel curls or slices (optional)
In a large pitcher, combine wine, orange juice, brandy, orange liqueur, sugar, and fruit. Chill at least 2 hours. Add club soda before serving. Serve over crushed ice and/or with orange peel curls, if desired.
This frozen deliciousness contains approximately 125 calories per serving and I think it’s fabulous sans alcohol.
- 2 cups ice
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (with additional for garnish)
- 1 cup blueberry nectar (Knudsen’s Organic is a great choice)
- 1/4 cup seltzer
- 2 tablespoons frozen limeade
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 3 ounces tequila, optional
- 1 lime wedge
- Coarse salt
Combine ice, blueberries, blueberry nectar, seltzer, limeade, lime juice and tequila in a blender and blend until smooth. Add a few whole berries for decoration. Rub rim of 2 glasses with lime wedge and dip in salt. Divide the margarita between the prepared glasses and serve.
Mojitos are refreshing cocktails made with light rum. For a stronger mint flavor, crush a few mint leaves in the bottom of the glass before adding liquid. Garnish with additional leaves and lime slices.
- ¾ oz lime juice
- Fresh mint leaves
- 1 ½ oz light rum
- 2 oz club soda
- Ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a glass and stir until completely mixed. Enjoy your mojito with family and friends.
Enjoying cocktails in the summer does not have to result in a calorie overload. These three cocktails are all low in calories, get their taste from fresh fruit, and are a fabulous way to celebrate the birth of our nation when enjoyed responsibly.