How To Make Healthy Cocktails: The Ultimate Guide

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Well folks, it's about that point…

…the time of year that there is great temptation and opportunity to imbibe in a celebratory cocktail.

Around this time last year, I published “Three Semi-Healthy Drinks to Have If You’re Partying and Want To Do As Little Damage As Possible to Your Body”.

In that article, you learned how to make healthy cocktails like:

Healthy Cocktail 1: “Absolutely Skinny”

-One to two shots of Absolut Berry or Vanilla Vodka (or other equivalent vodka)
-Small splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice

Mix in soda water (NOT tonic water), on ice and serve with lemon or lime wedge.

Healthy Cocktail 2: “Lean Spritzer”

Mix equal parts rose or blush wine with club soda on ice and serve with lemon or lime wedge.

Healthy Cocktail 3: “Muddled Muscle”

Muddle a handful of lime or lemon wedges in ice with club soda and plain vodka. Add splash of cranberry if desired.

But there's a bit of a problem. While these healthy cocktails are certainly low in calories, they aren't exactly “refined” in their simplicity – nor will they impress your friends or guests with uniqueness or inventive ingredients.


…suppose you want a healthy cocktail that is both low in calories and impressive and tasty?

Here are three more options that are a bit fancier:

Healthy Cocktail 4: “Bacardi Cuba Libre”

Combine a shot of Bacardi rum, a shot of espresso, three dashes of bitters, a lime wedge and Diet Coke to taste. Shake in a cocktail shaker over ice, and strain into a highball glass. If you want to avoid Diet Coke altogether, then get some “Zevia”, which is naturally flavored with stevia.  For some, the boost of caffeine mixed with alcohol in this drink may be pushing the envelope of “healthy”, but remember – everything in moderation! 

Healthy Cocktail 5: “Honeydew Sake”

Get your hands on a good blender (or juicer) and blend or juice a fresh honeydew melon. Actually, you can use any fresh juice for this recipe, but honeydew tastes particularly fantastic with sake, a Japanese rice wine (you can get a good quality sake on Amazon, or at your local gourmet food store). Mix 3 parts juice to 1 part sake and serve as chilled as possible – you can even put it on the table in a pitcher as a “spiked” punch. If you want a sake that contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the honeydew, look for high “Aminosan-do” content, which indicates more of a rich “umami” style flavor.

Healthy Cocktail 6: “Pomegranate Manhattan”

This one came from my private athletes' forum, where we occasionally share recipes that go beyond “health smoothies”. To make, mix 1.5 shots Wild Turkey or Bourbon, 1.5 shots pure Pomegranate juice, a teaspoon of sugar or dash of stevia, and 2 dashes bitters. Shake in a cocktail shaker over ice, and strain into a martini glass.

Finally, remember that one glass of water for each drink, use of effervescent electrolyte tablets or electrolyte capsules, proteolytic enzymes, and a bit of post-celebratory fat and protein (like eggs with an avocado) always lessen the bite the next morning.

OK, I know I'm not the only health-conscious fitness junkie who celebrates the New Year with a libation, so now it's your turn.

What healthy cocktail recipes do you have? Leave your recipe in the comments section below.

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8 thoughts on “How To Make Healthy Cocktails: The Ultimate Guide

  1. bay native says:

    watered (filtered)-down costco organic lemonade
    juice&pulp of one lime
    organic prairie gin

  2. selenar says:

    I would totally suggest using voli vodka, they have some great flavors and they are lower calorie :)

  3. Doug says:

    Well, if a lower cal version of a non-traditional cocktail is what you are after, this seasonal creation of mine is tasty:

    Gingerbread Martini:
    1 part gingerbread liquer
    1 part vanilla vodka
    2 parts diet ginger ale
    Sprinkle of nutmeg

    Mix over ice in martini shaker … shake well!

    Happy New Year!

  4. jackie says:

    i'm not trying to lose weight, in fact i could gain some, so i just stick to red wine (organic if possible). it's the healthiest as far as alcohol goes, IMO. :-) and i always take milk thistle and a product called anti alcohol antioxidants when i drink.

    1. Yes, milk thistle is good, but the liver can metabolize a few drinks just fine. Once you drink in excess though, milk thistle can definitely help protect your liver.

  5. Chris says:

    I love coffee so I usually do spike coffee (suggestions for a healthy name?) with a mug of Teeccino or decaf coffee, a shot (I usually just do it to taste) of Khalua and some almond milk. No need for Bailey’s. Does anyone know a good website where you can find the Nutritional Facts on spirits and booze?

    Ben, what are the “dirty dozen” of spirits and drinks to avoid?

    1. I'd check Chris. "The Nutrition Diva" is involved in that, and she just put out a good post about metabolizing alcohol here:…

      re: the "dirty dozen" – I'm not sure if I have 12 per se, but I personally beer because it upsets my stomach and gives me a headache, and I also avoid…

      -any sweet liquer
      -any "pre-mixed" drinks, including sweet n' sour mix, margarita mix, mudslide mix, etc. (mostly sugar)
      -anything mixed with sugary soda

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