3 Cinco de Mayo cocktails without excessive calories

  • Tue May 1st, 2012 10:03am
  • Life

By Alison Ladman Associated Press

It’s easy to love a great cocktail. Until you look at the numbers.

Some margaritas, for example, can pack upward of 1,000 calories. That’s an awful lot of empty calories for something that truly is just a minute on the lips. So with Cinco de Mayo coming up, we decided to give healthy makeovers to some suitable refreshments.

The key to preventing cocktails from becoming calorie bombs is to take care when selecting the base for the drink. Juices (even unsweetened ones), sodas, anything with a syrup in it, and most liqueurs all pack tons of sugar.

The best option for a satisfying light drink is to start with seltzer water or still water. Be aware that club soda is not the same thing. While club soda doesn’t have calories, it does have sodium. Once you have a clean water base, you can start adding flavorings to it.

We’ve created three cocktails worthy of your Cinco de Mayo celebration that won’t necessitate a half marathon to burn off the calories.

We use real fruit, distilled spirits and a touch of agave nectar to keep things fresh and light.

If you like, add a touch of salt around the rim of your glass for a classic margarita feel. Do this by running a lime wedge around the rim, then overturning the glass and dipping it in a plate of coarse salt.

Sparkling raspberry margarita

1/2orange, cut into pieces

1lime, cut into pieces

1/4cup fresh raspberries

1teaspoon agave nectar

1ounce silver or white tequila

Seltzer water

Fill a cocktail glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the orange, lime, raspberries and agave nectar with the tequila until the fruit is very pulpy and juicy. This should take about 5 minutes. Strain into the ice and top with seltzer water.

Makes 1. Per serving: 130 calories; 0 calories from fat; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 3 g fiber; 0 mg sodium.

Super citrus ‘rita

Kosher salt

Juice of 1/2 ruby red grapefruit

Juice of 1/2 orange

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Juice of 1/2 lime

1ounce reposado tequila

Salt the rim of a cocktail glass and fill with ice. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the grapefruit juice, orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice and tequila. Shake vigorously, then strain into the glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Makes 1. Per serving: 130 calories; 0 calories from fat; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 0 g fiber; 480 mg sodium.

Cucumber cooler

1cup peeled, seeded and diced cucumber

1ounce silver or white tequila

Juice of 1 lime

1teaspoon agave syrup

1tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves

1cup ice

In a blender, combine the cucumber, tequila, lime juice, agave and mint leaves. Blend until completely pureed. Add the ice and blend until the ice is finely chopped. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with mint and a lime wedge.

Makes 1. Per serving: 110 calories; 0 calories from fat; 0 g fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrate; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 5 mg sodium.