Low-cal ways to get your drink on!

We are a week into the New Year and if you are like me, I am focusing on better health.  No matter what my exercise and food routine was during 2019, once the holidays rolled around it all went out the window.  No need to dwell on the setbacks of the holidays, January is a great time for a renewed focus on better eating and drinking choices. Finding healthy alternatives to both meals, snacks and beverages that cut down the calories but do not compromise on flavor is always a fun challenge. Here are some low cal drink recipes that you can use when you want to get your drink on - with all the pleasure and none of the guilt!

The first thing I look to cut out is sugar.  High sugar is in so many of our drinks, so the challenge is to seek out low sugar alternatives that are more natural and have flavor.  The calories need to come from the alcohol not the mixers. No matter what your drink preference, there is a low cal alternatives at right around 100 calories per 5 oz glass.

If you are a wine drinker

Red Wines

Carignane at 109 calories - This Spanish origin grape variety is a medium-bodied red wine.

Gamay at 115 calories - This light-bodied red wine can taste most similarly to a Pinot Noir.


White Wines

Muller-Thurgau at 112 calories - This white grape is a crossing of Riesling and Madeleine Royale. It is most commonly grown in Germany.

Chenin Blanc at 118 calories - This light-bodied white wine is made from dry to sweet.


Sparkling Wines

We have some great news here and this is one of my go to drinks as it is under 100 calories. 

Prosecco only has 70 calories per glass and Champagne is at 95 calories per glass. I’ll cheers to that!


 If you are a beer drinker

Light beers are the way to go.  If you stick with light, you can cut those calories in half.  At under 100 calories for most light beer, there will be some different options for you.


If you like your mixed drinks,

If you want to be a mix master, there are plenty of options to make your own low calorie drink.   

Most of our favorite spirits have about 65 calories per shot, so depending on what you do with it, you can have a really low calorie cocktail.  Here are some options.

Low-Cal Spirits include: vodka, rum, gin, whisky, tequila, brandy and cognac.


The trick is to find a yummy mixer that won’t kill the calorie count.  Some great mixers that virtually add no calories to your spirits include soda water and  flavored sparkling water like La Croix, Perrier or Daisani.  

Flavor enhancers
For natural, low calorie flavor enhancers, go to lime juice, lemon juice, orange juice rose water. These will add less than 15 calories per tablespoon and give a lot of flavor.

Another way to go if you have some time is to infuse the alcohol. You can add various herbs, spices, fruits and more to give your alcohol some flavor.  Try one of the following in your vodka and see what happens: cucumbers, mint, cinnamon, jalapeno peppers.

There are limitless options you can have fun with to create a tasty drink.  See below for a great variation.


Hard Seltzers in Cans

If you want to keep it simple, the canned hard seltzers are all the rage now. These low calorie options taste great and are at 100 calories a can. Check out Truly and White Claw for two great options.


Skinny G&T
In parting here is a yummy drink that I just tried out this past weekend from supergoldenbakes.com. It’s only 55 calories and super refreshing.
Skinny G&T from SuperGoldenBakers


  • 35 ml 1 measure Hendricks gin
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp organic rose water try Steenbergs brand
  • a few slices of cucumber
  • slimline tonic such as Schweppes or Fever Tree
  • edible rose petals to garnish, optional


  • Fill a glass with fresh ice and add 3-4 small slices of cucumber.
  • Pour the gin, lemon juice and rose water in the glass. Top with chilled tonic water and stir.
  • Garnish with rose petals


PortoVino Founder


Check out the top wines by calorie count on MyFoodData

Check out a thorough list of Esquire's: The five least fattening ways to get drunk

Photo Credits: 

TV Land - Seinfeld, giphy.com
Red Wine: nate johnston
White Wine: thomas martinsen
Sparkling Wine:   nik macmillan
Beer: quentin dr gvm
Cocktails: rhianon lassila


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