When the summer weather heats up, there’s no better way to cool down than with a refreshing cocktail. But some of the most popular summer drinks pack loads of sugar into each tall glass. Sugar has been linked to a variety of diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer. Sugar (sucrose) is a no-go if you have a sugar intolerance (sucrose intolerance). Just because you’re trying to decrease your sugar consumption doesn’t mean you have to miss out on summer refreshers entirely. Check out these tips for making summer’s most popular cocktails sugar-free.
- Switch sugar for a sweetener, like stevia or liquid stevia. Many cocktail recipes call for simple syrup, which is essentially sugar water. Use stevia to cut calories and skip sugar without missing it. Refreshing recipes like a mint julep or Vodka Collins can be made with the same essential ingredients but with different proportions so that you don’t miss the sugar.
- If sangria is your favorite fruity beverage, then swap it out for a refreshing and easy-to-make red-wine cooler. Using diet soda is an easy way to save calories and avoid sugar while still enjoying a lightly fizzy treat that is sweet.
- A daiquiri is a classic whipped summer drink, but daiquiris at chain restaurants rack up hundreds of calories thanks to their combination of fruit and added sugar. By using a sugar-free powdered drink mix, you can save calories and sugar and still enjoy the frozen-fruit smoothie for grown-ups. Another frozen favorite is the margarita. Try using sorbet or stevia in place of a sugar-filled mix, like the suggestions in these margarita variations.
- Using fresh fruit and freshly squeezed juices are a good way to upgrade your summer cocktail while avoiding added sugar and skipping sugar substitutes.
- Nothing is hipper these days than a Moscow Mule. Taking a little extra time to make your own ginger syrup using a sugar substitute makes the drink a great treat and perfect for whipping up a batch for a crowd. All you need are copper mugs for serving.
- Go basic. If you just want a taste of something refreshing without a sugar rush, then sometimes all you need is a vodka and soda. Add a squeeze of lime or a splash of cranberry if you’re feeling a little frisky, but basic vodka and soda is often the drink of choice for followers of healthy lifestyles.
- Try wine or beer. If you’re out and about, go for a michelada, a refreshing combo of beer and tomato juice and other spices and seasonings. Just opt for a light beer. Wine spritzers can be as simple as wine and soda. Make sure to ask the bartender to skip the simple syrup or use diet lemon-lime soda to avoid added sugar.