The end of summer may be approaching but the weather is providing no hint of relief from the heat. As we count the days until we can sip our first pumpkin spiced latte, the hot temperatures continue to make us crave cool, refreshing cocktails.

As you gear up for the final weekends, say farewell to the season by crafting some of these favorite summer classics—with a twist. Most cocktails have too much sugar, unnatural flavors and result in cringe-worthy hangovers the next morning. Say goodbye to the premade mixes and swap in these healthier picks. You’ll thank us the next morning.

Piña Colada

Pina Colada 672x370One sip and this iconic coconut drink conjures visions of tropical islands. It also contains high amounts of unwanted—and unneeded—sugar. The key to making this drink healthy? Avoid using any ingredients that come in cans. Canned coconut milk is usually high in fat, so try coconut water instead. It will deliver a lighter taste. Also, opt for fresh-cut pineapple rather than canned slices. These are often saturated in sugary syrups. Want a full recipe for slimming down the classic piña colada? Find it here.


Strawberry daiquiri’s are the delicious sister drink to the piña colada. The problem here lies in the sugar-laden strawberry schnapps, which is pretty much unnecessary for a good daiquiri drink. Stick with just blended frozen strawberries and don’t load up on additional store-bought juices—use fresh lime juice if you want to add more to the flavor. Bartender Andrew S. Meltzer shares a great recipe here.


Margarita 672x370Whether Mexican food is on your agenda or not, the classic margarita is revitalizing summer drink. Use a natural sweetener and fresh ingredients rather than premade margarita mixes found in most grocery and liquor stores. If what you’re yearning for is convenience, a slimming version is easily attainable. Check out Brittany Chardin’s suggestion of the “Tommy’s Style Margarita.” All you need is tequila, lime juice and agave nectar.

Long Island Iced Tea

This drinks often packs an alcoholic punch (five different types of liquor!) and sugar to boot. If your liquor cabinet is stocked—we’re talking vodka, tequila, rum, gin and triple sec—give this drink a go, but use diet cola in place of regular. Also, avoid ordering Long Island Iced Teas at a bar that uses their own mix or store-bought mix—they can run you upwards of 780 calories!

Happy drinking!


Author: Allison Klibanoff