Healthy Cocktail Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Healthy Cocktail Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day

Unlike other high-calorie holiday celebrations—Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years’ Eve—St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t have the benefit of being many months away from beach season. Summer is just around the corner and, even as St. Paddy’s celebrations get underway, many of you are probably concerned about the effect keg-pumped beer and Shamrock Shakes will have on your waistlines.

Thankfully, there’s a solution to this booze-or- flat-belly dilemma. With a little creativity, preparation, and help from the experts, you can create your own low-calorie cocktails—light alternatives to your typical post-parade-party fare that’ll keep you in high spirits without packing on the pounds. These skinny booze experts show you how it’s done.

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    1. Skinny Cocktails

    Skinny Cocktails doesn’t just give you the recipes for waistline-friendly booze; it also gives you the info you’ll need to become a calorie-conscious drinker and bartender for life. Authors Ray and Jaclyn Foley begin by breaking down the calorie and carbohydrate counts for every type of alcohol, with results that are sometimes surprising. The lowest-calorie liquor? Captain Morgan Parrot Bay Matava Blue, at 19 calories per ounce. The skinniest beer? Yuengling Light, which has 90 calories and seven grams of carbs per serving. The authors then move on to the main attraction: 250 recipes for delicious, guilt-free, easy-to-make cocktails, complete with nutrition specs for each. (Not that you’ll be capable of doing much math on St. Paddy’s.)

     

    Recipe: The 5-0 Cosmo (below), the Bikini, and more

    What you’ll need:

    3 oz. Ocean Spray diet cranberry juice drink
    3/4 oz. Absolut raspberry vodka
    Squeeze of lime
    Lime twist for garnish

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    2. The Skinnygirl Dish

    Bethenny Frenkel built an empire from low-cal booze—her 100-calorie Skinnygirl Margarita drinks are stocked in practically every liquor store in America, and are, in this writer’s opinion, surprisingly tasty—so when she pens a book about healthy drinking and eating, we pay attention. In addition to food recipes for every meal, she lays out ingredients for a variety of diet-friendly drinks. She also establishes some take-away ground rules: Drink only clear liquors, down a glass of water between drinks, and kill two indulgences with one stone by drinking a sweet liqueur for dessert.

     

    Recipe: Bethenny Frankel’s Skinnygirl Margarita

    What you’ll need:

    2 oz. of Clear Premium Tequila (count 1, 2 while you pour, no need for measuring)
    Tiny splash of Orange Liquor
    Juice of four Fresh Lime Wedges
    A splash of Grand Marnier or BOLS Triple Sec

    Combine all ingredients over a glass of ice and garnish with a lime wedge.

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    3. Hungry Girl Happy Hour

    This installment of the Hungry Girl series features 75 recipes for low-calorie cocktails, as well as ideas for party-ready snack foods and appetizers. The drinks tend toward the festive, which may come in handy on St. Patrick’s. Margaritas, blended drinks, and sangrias and just a few of the concoctions within.

     

    Recipe:  Hungry Girl’s Magical Low-Cal Margarita

    What you’ll need:

    1 1/2 oz. (1 shot) tequila
    1 oz. (2 tbsp.) lime juice
    One 2-serving packet (about 1 tsp.) sugar-free lemonade powdered drink mix (like the kind by Crystal Light)
    6 oz. (3/4 cup) diet lemon-lime soda
    Optional garnish: lime slice

    Combine all ingredients except optional garnish in a glass or shaker. Stir to dissolve drink mix.

    Pour into a margarita glass with lots of ice. If you like, finish it off with a slice of lime on the rim of the glass… Time to enjoy!

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    4. SkinnyTinis

    According to SkinnyTinis author Teresa M. Howes, the average cocktail contains 300 calories, posing a formidable challenge to anyone who wants to lose weight and still get drunk. Er, tipsy. The recipes in SkinnyTinis cut that number in half, averaging 142 calories each. Skimp on flavor they do not: From a 141-calorie “Almond Bliss” martini to a 147-calorie “Caribbean Killer,” these cocktails will add only deliciousness and punch to your St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

     

    Recipe: Pom-Pom SkinnyTini

    What you’ll need:

    2 oz. citrus vodka
    1 1/2 oz. diet ginger ale
    1 oz. pomegranate juice
    1/2 oz. light orange juice

    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake for 10 to 15 seconds. Strain into a 5-ounce martini glass. Be careful as you shake any SkinnyTini containing a carbonated mixer, as it can have a powerful and slightly messy effect on your kitchen. To ease the situation, wrap the shaker in a towel and shake gently.

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