By Wendy Ruopp, Managing Editor of EatingWell
I love fruity classic cocktails in the summer (honestly, I rarely turn them down at any time of year), but as I'm still hoping to look good in a bathing suit when I do finally take my summer vacation, I can't be pounding full-calorie pina coladas with abandon. Luckily EatingWell has made skinny summer drinks I can serve that are easy to make and light on both lips and hips. Here are 5 delicious recipes to try:
(Looking for nonalcoholic options? Try these Summer Cocktails and Mocktails.)
A regular piña colada can have 403 calories--that's practically a meal! (A cheeseburger, for instance, is 397 calories, and a hot dog with chili and cheese is 367 calories.) EatingWell's version, called "Monkeylada" because it includes a healthy banana along with fresh pineapple and coconut milk, has just 228 calories. Here's the recipe:
Total time: 10 minutes
If you like piña coladas, try this lower-calorie version using ripe bananas blended with fresh pineapple and coconut milk. Serve it in festive tropical-drink glasses.
2 very ripe bananas
1 cup diced fresh pineapple, plus 4 wedges for garnish
1 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup "lite" coconut milk (see Tip)
3 cups ice cubes
6 ounces (3/4 cup) light rum
Puree bananas, diced pineapple, pineapple juice, coconut milk and ice in a blender. Stir in rum. Divide among 4 glasses. Garnish with pineapple wedges.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 228 calories; 2 g fat (2 g sat, 0 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 28 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 12 mg sodium; 339 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (52% daily value).
Tip: Refrigerate leftover coconut milk for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 2 months. It will appear separated when thawed; simply mix until smooth.
Want to throw a margarita party? Give it an unexpectedly seasonal twist by making margaritas with blueberries and blueberry nectar, with frozen limeade to add zing.
Get the Recipe: Blueberry-Lime Margaritas & More Healthy Drinks
Wondering how best to use your fresh strawberries? Belly up to the bar (with a flat belly, that is) for a skinnier strawberry daiquiri. You'll feel like you're on a tropical getaway with our refreshing strawberry-coconut version of the classic, taste-of-summer cocktail.
Get the Recipe: Strawberry-Coconut Daiquiri and More Skinny Summer Drinks.
The English have been making shandys since the 1600s--and lately they've really caught on. Invite your friends over to watch the Summer Olympics opening ceremony and serve them a shandy (in our version, it's beer mixed with seltzer and a little limeade--frightfully refreshing!).
Get the Recipe: Shandy Beer Recipe and More Calorie-Conscious Cocktails
Another way I like to get my fruit servings in is by making Sangria--an especially lovely drink to offer at a barbecue. EatingWell's recipe is for a special White Sangria, in which pieces of summer melons are paired with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. While it's kind of a contradiction for a sangria (named for its blood-red color) to be made with white wine, but once you've tasted this festive thirst quencher you'll find you don't care.
What's your essential, essence-of-summer cocktail?
By Wendy Ruopp
Wendy Ruopp has been the managing editor of EatingWell for most of her adult life. Although she writes about food for the Weeknights column of EatingWell Magazine, her husband does the cooking at home.
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