When you start counting calories and watching your carb intake, the awareness of what your body is taking in can be eye-opening and sometimes frustrating.
Achieving wellness goals may mean a lifestyle change or cutting back on some foods and habits. When it comes time to consider what you want from your diet, you might be tempted to give up some of the very things you enjoy most, like your cocktails, but that’s no fun.
Here’s the thing: You don’t have to give up your favorite drink. Not all cocktails have to be loaded with sugar and carbs. Before you roll your eyes and think the healthier beverage won’t have any flavor, hear us out: It can be done. To prove our point, we’ve found 16 of the best low-carb cocktail recipes for you to try at your next get-together. From a coconut gin and tonic to a cantaloupe daiquiri, these low-carb cocktails will hit the spot without taking away all the fun.
Raspberry Chambord Gin Fizz
This raspberry Chambord gin fizz is the perfect addition to a heavy meal since it’s light and simple. Unlike other gin fizz cocktails, this version doesn’t include an egg white—it gets its effervescence from club soda. Instead of added sugar, it gets its sweetness from the Chambord.
- 3 ounces Gin
- 1 1/2 ounces freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
- 1 ounce Chambord liqueur
- Club Soda to fill
Made from only four ingredients, this vodka watermelon cocktail is only 136 calories a serving. Perfect for the summer, this drink uses frozen watermelon, coconut water, lime juice, and, of course, vodka. If you’d like, you can up the ingredients list to five items by garnishing the drink with a refreshing sprig of mint.
- 8 cups chilled watermelon
- 11.5 oz. coconut water
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1 cup vodka citron (citrus-flavored vodka)
- mint for garnish
Coconut Gin and Tonic
This coconut gin and tonic includes only four ingredients: coconut water, gin, tonic water, and lime. One serving runs 179 calories, so you won’t run into some of the usual woes in treating yourself. Since this recipe isn’t dependent on seasonal fruit, you can be refreshed by it all year long.
- 2 ounces gin
- 2 ounces coconut water
- 2 ounces tonic water
- 1/2 medium lime, juiced (1/2 lime yields ~1-2 Tbsp)
- Fresh mint or basil (optional)
Grapefruit, vodka, lime juice, and simple syrup shake together this rosemary greyhound cocktail. While greyhounds typically list grapefruit and vodka, this one’s rosemary syrup sets it apart and gives it a woodsy taste, perfect from transitioning from summer to the holiday season. The best part? It’s 110 calories a serving.
ROSEMARY SIMPLE SYRUP
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
ROSEMARY GREYHOUND COCKTAIL
- 1-1/2 ounces grapefruit vodka
- 3/4 ounce grapefruit juice
- 1/2 ounce lime juice
- 1/2 ounce rosemary simple syrup
Leap Year Cocktail
Here’s a recipe for a citrusy gin martini that is supposedly responsible for numerous marriage proposals. The cocktail dates back to a bartender at London’s famous Savoy Hotel who created it in 1928. Fresh lemon juice dials down the sugar factor and creates a more sophisticated flavor profile.
- 2 ounces Gin
- ½ ounce Grand Marnier
- ½ ounce Sweet Vermouth
- ¼ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Garnish: Lemon spiral
Sunny Cilantro Cucumber Vodka
If you’re looking for a complex but fresh cocktail, this sunny cilantro cucumber cocktail is it. In a single sip, you’ll taste grassy and floral notes as well as a little fruity sweetness. If cilantro isn’t your thing, we recommend swapping it out with either basil or mint.
- 2 ounces Prairie Organic Cucumber Vodka
- 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon organic honey
- ice cubes
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup soda water (or more for topping)
Named for author Ernest Hemingway, this citrusy cocktail is inspired by tastes from El Floridita, the bar in Cuba that Hemingway frequented. While daiquiris typically involve a lot of sugar, this Hemingway Daiquiri doesn’t get caught up in sweetness—it draws from fresh citrus juices and Luxardo instead. The result is a refreshing cocktail that is guilt-free.
- 2 ounces White Rum (Cuban if you have it!)
- ¾ ounce fresh Lime Juice
- ½ ounce fresh Grapefruit Juice
- ½ ounce Luxardo liqueur
- Garnish: Lime slice
Rhubarb Strawberry Margaritas
Margaritas may make happy hour a little happier, but they’re typically loaded with sugar. This rhubarb-strawberry margarita is low in sugar per serving, drawing from rhubarb and strawberry for natural sweetness. The fruit also gives a vibrant natural color, so you won’t need to worry about the dyes sometimes used in margarita mixes.
STRAWBERRY RHUBARB SYRUP
- 1 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb (green stems removed)
- 1 1/2 cups hulled, sliced strawberries
- 3 Tbsp organic cane sugar*
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 Tbsp orange juice (optional // for natural sweetness and a slight orange flavor)
- 1/3 cup strawberry rhubarb syrup
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 ounce silver tequila (1 ounce equals ~2 Tbsp)
- 1-2 tsp agave nectar (plus more to taste)
Peach Martini with Raspberry
This simple peach martini recipe is best shaken and stirred. This sugar-free recipe calls for peach schnapps, fresh peaches, seltzer water, and raspberry vodka. While you can rim your martini glass with a little extra cane sugar, that’s up to you. We won’t judge.
- Organic Cane Sugar, For rimming, optional
- 2 ounces Raspberry Vodka, Plus additional for rimming, optional
- 2 small Fresh Peaches, Diced, about 1 1/4 cups
- 4 ounces Lemon-Lime Flavored Sparkling Seltzer Water
- 2 ounces Peach Schnapps
- Frozen Raspberries, For garnish
Pomegranate Spiked Cava
This pomegranate-spiked cava cocktail is a great excuse to get a little pomegranate in your life. The bubbly cava causes the pomegranate seeds to dance up and down your champagne flute, and the freshly grated ginger adds an extra kick. Perfect as an after-dinner drink, the pomegranate-spiked cava is a solid mix of fruity, acidic, dry, and spicy.
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh ginger (peeled and grated)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- 300 ml Segura Viudas Cava
- Pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Lemon twists (as garnish)
Take it from us, this cantaloupe daiquiri is a legit daiquiri. This is not one of those fake, sugary ones. In it, the light, subtle flavor of cantaloupe is complemented by white rum and cherry juice. The fruit gives the beverage a light orange color that’s perfect for summer or fall.
- 3 ounces fresh cantaloupe “juice” or puree
- 2 ounces white rum
- 1 1/2 ounces simple syrup
- 1-ounce maraschino cherry juice
- splash of lime juice
- splash of seltzer
Feisty Cucumber Mint Martini
This refreshing martini recipe combines the popular flavors of cucumber, mint, and jalapeno for an unforgettable kick. With fresh ingredients and just one tiny teaspoon of sugar, this vodka cocktail will quickly top your list.
- 2 1/4-inch slices Cucumber
- 6 large Mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed Lime Juice
- ¼ teaspoon fresh, seeded, diced Jalapeno pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated Sugar
- 3 ounces chilled Vodka
- cocktail shaker
And, here’s a warm season favorite, the Paloma. With only a few natural ingredients and no added sugar, it’s a popular drink of choice for those wanting to cut down on cocktail calories. Simply mix fresh grapefruit and lime juice with tequila and seltzer water, add ice, and you’re done.
- sea salt flakes
- 2 pink grapefruits, juiced (about 12 ounces)
- 6 ounces tequila of choice
- 4 ounces fresh lime juice
- seltzer water
- fresh mint leaves
- lime wedges
Rose Lemon Spritzer
This Spritzer seriously may be the prettiest cocktail you will ever make. What’s also pretty great is it happens to be low in calories and carbs so this just might be the perfect party drink for the ladies. The ingredients are clean and simple, including rose water, fresh lemon juice, vodka, honey, sparkling water, and just a few drops of blood orange or pomegranate juice to give it that rosy hue.
- 2 tablespoons rose water (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2-2 ounces vodka omit to make a mocktail!
- 1-2 tablespoon honey or to taste (use agave if vegan)
- a few drops of blood orange or pomegranate juice for color (optional)
- 3/4 cup sparkling water or more to taste
- fresh roses for garnish (optional)
If you love kombucha, there’s really no wrong way to drink it. But a kombucha sangria might be the best way if you us. With freshly squeezed blood orange juice and plenty of fresh berries, one could argue it’s even kind of healthy. Add some pinot grigio and brandy, and you’ve got the perfect sweet-tart combo for brunch.
- 2 apples sliced
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 2 blood oranges sliced
- 1 handful fresh mint
- 1 750 mL bottle pinot grigio
- 2 15-ounce bottles kombucha, citrus or berry flavor (or your fave!)
- 1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
- 1/3 cup brandy
The White Lady Cocktail
Last on the list is the White Lady Cocktail. This light and bright dry gin martini is inspired by Downton Abbey as a British cocktail from the 1900’s. Combined with Cointreau and fresh lemon juice, it has the perfect citrus twist.
- 2 ounces Dry Gin
- 1/2 ounce Cointreau
- 1/2 ounce Lemon Juice