Going out to the bar can easily escalate from two drinks after work to a 1,000-calorie night. And if you’re hoping to cut down on your sugar intake, choosing the right cocktail is essential.
“A healthier cocktail is going to be lower in added sugars, will be caffeine-free (looking at you, Espresso Martini), may include bitters which help with digestion, and most importantly, is something you enjoy!” says Anna Brown, MS, RD.
The biggest sources of sugar in cocktails include simple syrup, concentrated fruit juices, and tonic water. “This means you want to avoid drinks like a gin and tonic, mojitos, and piña coladas,” Brown says. And if you’re really trying to be extra mindful of your health, have a cocktail sans alcohol. “The same concepts apply when ordering a mocktail — try to avoid caffeine and loads of added sugar,” Brown says.
If that’s not your style and you’d prefer a true cocktail, we’ve rounded up some of the healthiest cocktail options. The next time you’re out at a bar or restaurant, give one of these a try.
— Additional reporting by Michele Foley