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Drinking Habits

Your Guide to Low-Calorie Cocktails

January 9, 2023
12 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
January 9, 2023
12 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
January 9, 2023
12 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
January 9, 2023
12 min read
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Reframe Content Team
January 9, 2023
12 min read

You’re killing it in the gym and want to keep making gains. You’ve been cutting back on drinking and want options so you can still have a good time. Enter low-calorie options.

The old saying ‘calories in and calories out’ is misleading. The quality of a calorie matters, even if it’s within your goal for the day. Putting sugar and full-fat milk in your coffee can lead to a high caloric intake. A few too many mai tais can show up on your waistline.

Drinking excessively can lead to weight gain that is much more than the calories consumed. Alcohol has a high-calorie content. Regular consumption of it can make you put on extra pounds. Excess alcohol suppresses the breakdown of fat. This leads to an increase in fat accumulation in the body. This is where the term beer belly comes from.

High-quality calories

High-quality calories help to keep hunger levels in check by providing higher nutritional value. They also lead to more energy throughout the day. Eating foods with high-quality calories helps your body get the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber it needs. Eating a nutrient-rich diet may reduce the risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes.

Boosted appetite

After a night out, you may be craving greasy food like burgers or kabobs. Alcohol increases your appetite by affecting hunger hormones, making you crave more food than your body requires. Replacing nutrient-rich drinks like milk with alcoholic beverages will invariably cause you to miss out on essential nutrients such as vitamin B and calcium.

Living your life and enjoying fewer calories doesn’t have to be hard.

Low-calorie drinks

Low-calorie drinks, such as water and unsweetened tea, are critical for anyone trying to maintain a healthy weight. Not only do they help keep us hydrated, but low-calorie drinks also reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. That's important because excessive sugar intake can lead to negative health effects, including an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. Not having to worry about our caloric intake from beverages is a big part of achieving a healthier lifestyle - plus it's one less thing to add up on the nutrition label.

Low-calorie alcoholic drinks

Alcoholic drinks lower in calories are becoming increasingly important for individuals who want to responsibly enjoy alcohol without sacrificing their long-term health. These beverages offer a more healthful option than many traditional drinks with added sugars, artificial colors and other extra ingredients. Consider this an opportunity to moderate what you put in your body while still enjoying the occasional alcoholic beverage.

Low-calorie options allow you to be mindful of the calories you consume and maintain your weight while still socializing or celebrating with friends and family. These beverages give us better control over our consumption levels, turning drinking into more of a responsible habit than a source of issues - all while adding fewer calories throughout the day.

Low-calorie alcoholic drinks and flavor

Making low-calorie alcoholic drinks taste good doesn't have to be difficult.  There are plenty of ways to make sure that your cocktails still have maximum impact with minimal calories, including using seasonal ingredients with lots of flavor, adding a splash of no-calorie mixer like soda water or seltzer, and serving drinks cold.

Looking for additional sweetness without the added sugar? Natural sweeteners such as honey or real fruit juice can work wonders. Opt for popular 'skinny' versions of your favorite drinks. These have been designed with fewer calories in mind. With a bit of creative input and an eye on the calorie count, you can enjoy the indulgence of an alcoholic beverage without compromising on taste.

Low-calorie alcoholic drinks and mixers

With so many adult beverages to choose from, it can be hard to decide what mixer to use. There is a selection of delicious and low-calorie mixers that pair perfectly with your favorite liquors. These mixers satisfy your taste buds and help you stick to your diet goals. Choices include:

✪ light ginger ale

✪ fruit juice

✪ light tonic water

✪ low-sugar soda

✪ sparkling water

Be sure to explore the endless combinations of alcoholic beverages and their accompaniments for satisfying yet calorie-conscious enjoyment.


For those looking to create the perfect sangria without all the calories, this recipe is sure to hit all the right notes.

  1. Combine low-calorie white wine and freshly squeezed lime juice in a jug or pitcher.
  2. Stir until mixed evenly.
  3. Add your favorite fresh or frozen fruits such as blueberries, blackberries, apple slices, peach cubes, and lime wheels - you're only limited by your creativity!
  4. Top it all off with diet ginger ale or diet lemonade for a summery, bubbly fizz.
  5. Refrigerate overnight for optimal flavor before serving!

With its refreshing taste and minimal calories, this delicious sangria will leave your guests wanting more.


For those looking to enjoy a tasty mojito without extra calories, this recipe is surprisingly simple.

  1. Mix 3 ounces of unsweetened lime juice with 1 tablespoon of agave nectar, 3 thinly sliced mint leaves, 2 ounces of light rum, and one cup of sparkling water.
  2. Serve over ice and enjoy!

To make this drink even more refreshing, you can muddle the mint in the bottom of the glass before serving. With a lower calorie content than traditional mojitos, this delicious beverage still packs intense flavor in every sip.


Making a low-calorie margarita is now easier than ever! You'll be pleasantly surprised at how delicious and refreshing this drink can be while being light on calories.

  1. Combine 2 ounces of fresh lime juice, 2 shots of tequila, 2 ounces of orange juice and 1 ounce of agave nectar in your favorite glass or shaker filled with ice.
  2. Give it a shake until the sides are cold.
  3. Top off with 4 ounces of seltzer water.
  4. Stir it gently to combine all ingredients.

You have yourself a tasty low-calorie margarita that won't ruin your diet goals! Enjoy responsibly!


Negronis took over the internet during the pandemic. The classic cocktail is made from equal parts gin, Campari, and vermouth. Typically higher in calories than many other cocktails, it can be a tricky drink to make fit into your low-calorie lifestyle goals.

  1. Start with swapping the traditional sweet vermouth for one that is light and dry like Dolin Dry or Cocchi Americano.
  2. Replace the gin with a spirit lower in calories such as vodka or mezcal, or opt for aquavit, an even lower calorie option.
  3. Switch out the Campari for a bitter orange liqueur of your choice.
  4. Mix together 1 ounce of each ingredient over ice, then stir briskly to combine.

You'll be sipping on your lightened up negroni before you know it!

Moscow Mule

If you're looking for a delicious, tasty and low-calorie version of the classic Moscow Mule, this recipe is just what you need.

  1. Gather the ingredients to make the drink: vodka, soda water, fresh lime and a few fresh mint sprigs as garnish.
  2. Fill a copper mug with ice and add 2 ounces of vodka.
  3. Squeeze half a lime's juice into the mug and top it off with 4 ounces of cold soda water.
  4. Add mint leaves for an extra touch!

Enjoy this refreshingly delicious twist on a favorite classic - at only 80 calories per serving, it won't derail any diet plans.

Espresso Martini

The classic espresso martini is usually calorie-laden with copious amounts of sugar and syrup. You don’t have to put in all that extra sugar when you can make a delicious low-calorie version without any guilt.

  1. In a shaker, mix 1 ounce of freshly brewed cold espresso with 2 ounces of vodka and 6 teaspoons of store-bought low-calorie simple syrup.
  2. Give it a good shake for around 15 seconds.
  3. Strain into a chilled martini glass.
  4. For an extra special touch, garnish with a coffee bean or chocolate shavings.

Enjoy this delicious low calorie alcoholic mixed drink that won't leave you bloated from too many unwanted calories!


Making a low-calorie mimosa is easy and a great option for those looking to enjoy their brunch beverage without the guilt. All you need are two ingredients: your favorite sparkling wine or club soda and orange juice.

  1. Pour equal parts sparkling wine/champagne and club soda into a glass filled with orange juice and ice.
  2. Add additional flavors if desired.
  3. Enjoy!

If you're looking to make your mimosa even lower in calories, try using diet club soda or a zero-calorie naturally flavored seltzer water. You can also opt for white cranberry or pomegranate juice for an extra flavor boost. So, now the only thing left to do is grab some bubbly and start sipping your mimosas!

Bloody Mary

If you're looking for a delicious and low-calorie alternative to your traditional bloody mary, look no further!

  1. Mix 1/4 cup tomato juice with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice, 2 shots vodka, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce and a few dashes of hot pepper sauce to taste.
  2. Muddle celery leaves in the drink.
  3. Add additional garnishes as desired.

To achieve the desired level of refreshment without increasing your calorie load, simply replace the vodka with club soda, and add any additional garnishes that tickle your fancy - try thinly sliced celery stalks, olives, pickles or even shrimp for an elevated experience.


Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too? A delicious old-fashioned can be made with wholesome, low-calorie ingredients that won't pack on the pounds.

  1. Combine 3/4 ounce of whiskey, 6 drops of simple syrup, and three dashes of angostura bitters in a glass.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and stir gently until the ice melts slightly.
  3. Top off the glass with a half-ounce each of seltzer water and fresh squeezed orange juice for flavor and nutrition without all the calories.

Enjoy your tasty, low-calorie old fashioned responsibly!


Looking to make something delicious and light? A low-calorie spritz is the perfect treat!

  1. Gather a bottle of prosecco, 100% fruit juice, ice cubes, and a lime.
  2. Fill a glass halfway with ice cubes.
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of fruit juice into the glass, followed by the same amount of sparkling water.
  4. Squeeze a 1/4 of the lime into the glass and stir lightly.

Enjoy your flavorful, low-calorie spritz and savor the crunchy texture from the ice cubes!

Pina Colada

A classic pina colada may not be the best choice if you're looking to watch your calories. With a few easy switches, you can still enjoy refreshing pineapple and coconut flavors without all the extra sugar.

  1. Swap in 1 cup reduced-fat coconut milk instead of regular and choose light rum with zero carbs.
  2. Use 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice, which is significantly lower in sugar than its sweetened counterpart.
  3. Top your delicious concoction with fresh pineapple chunks for a delicious twist on a summertime favorite that won't derail your healthy diet goals.

Enjoy this refreshing cocktail while saving calories.

Mai Tai

If you've been looking for a light, refreshing summer cocktail that won't ruin your diet goals, look no further than the classic Mai Tai. This delicious low-calorie version is made with citrus juices, imbued with natural sweetness from stevia, and given a kick of Caribbean flavor from coconut rum. Ready in just minutes, this cocktail will quench your thirst and transport you to tropical climes all while helping you stick to a healthy lifestyle. A few simple ingredients are all that stand between you and a guilt-free Mai Tai – so why not give it a try?

  1. Pour 1 cup dark rum, ½ cup simple syrup, ½ orange curacao, 3 squirts lime juice, and 1 tablespoon Orgeat syrup into a shaker with plenty of ice.
  2. Shake vigorously before pouring over crushed ice in a tiki glass and top off with some club soda for bubbles.
  3. Garnish with pineapple slices, cherries, and an optional mint sprig before serving - cheers!

Making mindful choices when it comes to alcohol can have a big impact on both your health and your future. By opting for low-calorie drinks such as light beer, spritzers, seltzers, and smart mixed drinks like complex juice or soda water with a shot of flavored vodka, gin or tequila, you can still partake in social drinking while drastically reducing your calorie intake.

What’s more is that due to their lightness, you will be able to enjoy the social carefree feeling of having a drink but with reduced risk of short-term effects – like memory impairment – which most people tend to experience after consuming large amounts of calories during a night out.

Reframe is groundbreaking in its approach to helping individuals achieve healthier and happier lives. Developed with input from hundreds of medical and mental health experts, Reframe utilizes a comprehensive, neuroscience-based program that combines evidence-based behavior change tools with an interactive community platform for support.

The remarkable results of the program are manifest not just in users’ individual stories but also through data that shows Reframe users consume significantly less alcohol than those using similar apps. Additionally, users have reported that even after they stop using the app or complete their program, their newly adopted habits have lasted long-term--this really speaks to the success of this initiative. Tens of thousands around the world have already experienced the benefits of Reframe. Start taking strides toward a healthier, happier you.

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