For meat lovers, that might mean ordering the burger but skipping the fries, while those who can’t imagine their Friday night without a stiff one may take their drink straight up, forgoing a mixer. But despite conventional wisdom, choking down the hard stuff on the rocks or diluting it with flavorless soda water isn’t the only way to keep a cocktail low-cal. In fact, there are plenty of better-for-you pre-made mixes now available at grocery and specialty stores.
Here, we’ve rounded up some the tastiest options — all of which are free of scary ingredients and have 16 grams of sugar or less — so you only need to pick up a bottle, mix up your drink and enjoy.
(And for those nights when you prefer to enjoy a glass of white or red, be sure to grab one of these 16 Delicious Wines For Weight Loss)
Be Mixed Ginger Lime
Nutrition (1 serving, 4 fl oz): 0 calories | 5 g carbs (0 g sugar)
Made with fresh juices and natural sweeteners like monk fruit extract, this spicy and tart mixer serves as the perfect complement for a variety of cocktails. Mix it with vodka to create a Moscow Mule. Or, add a splash of rum for a skinny Dark n’ Stormy. The only caveat: It contains erythritol. If sugar alcohols tend to give you tummy troubles, this shouldn’t be your go-to.
Bare Mixers Organic Pomegranate Cranberry Cosmo
Nutrition (1 serving, 3 oz): 50 calories | 13 g carbs (11 g sugar)
Sure, they’re sweet and tasty, but a traditional cosmo can have up to 200 calories! To stay on the straight-and-narrow toward a smaller waist, mix 1 ounce of your favorite vodka with a 3-ounce serving of this agave- and juice-based mixer. Serve it in a martini glass with a lime wedge for the full cocktail-bar experience — in your very own kitchen. This slimmed-down take on the classic Sex and the City cocktail will run you just 114 calories.
Powell & Mahoney Old Ballycastle Ginger
Nutrition (1 serving, 4 oz): 80 calories | 23 g carbs (12 g sugar)
Made with a combination of cane sugar, ginger (one of The Healthiest Spices on the Planet), fennel seed and elderflower extract, this is one of the cleanest — and tastiest — mixers that we’ve come across. To make a lower-calorie ginger martini, combine a shot of vodka with a half-ounce of Old Ballycastle Ginger and some fresh lemon juice.
Ripe Agave Punch Bar Juice
Nutrition (1 serving, 5 fl oz): 60 calories | 16 g carbs (14 g sugar)
If you favor fruity cocktails without the subsequent sugar rush, this Caribbean-style punch mixer is apt to be your new favorite. The bulk of the liquid is made up of fresh lime, orange and pineapple juices; the addition of water, Angostura Bitters, and freshly milled nutmeg help keep the taste light without being too sweet. Just add a shot of rum to complete your cocktail. Bonus: Ripe Agave’s mixer also fares well as a base for a virgin punch. Just use a 1:1 ratio of juice and sparkling water and be sure to drink it instead of these Worst Drinks for Your Body.
Stirrings Simple Peach Bellini
Nutrition (1 serving, 1 fl oz): 30 calories | 8 g carbs (8 g sugar)
Italy’s favorite cocktail, the Bellini, is a daytime celebration staple — and with good reason: it’s delicious. But as tasty as it may be, making peach purée from scratch is time-consuming. (Whereas the bottled stuff usually tastes artificial.) Not to mention it can hold up to 50 calories and 11 grams of sugar per ounce! For a skinny sparkling cocktail — perfect for your next festive brunch — mix two parts Processo with one part Stirrings Simple Beach Bellini.
Hand-Crafted Bittermilk No. 3 Smoked Honey Whiskey Sour
Nutrition (1 serving, 1 fl oz): 40 calories | 10 g carbs (10 g sugar)
Bourbon lovers, this one’s for you. If made with lemon juice and simple syrup—not bottled sour mix — a whiskey sour is a sophisticated and low-calorie cocktail choice. (In fact, it’s one of these Low-Calorie Cocktails for Weight Loss). But if you want to elevate the taste of the classic cocktail, pick up a bottle of this stuff. Bittermilk has added bourbon-barrel-smoked honey, bitter orange peel and lemon to their sour-style mix, which yields a slightly tart and smoky cocktail.
Realime 100% Lime Juice + Madhava Organic Agave
Nutrition (3 tbsp lime juice mixed with 1 tbsp agave): 60 calories | 16 g carbs (16 g sugar)
Forget the bottled garbage sold at your local liquor store. This is how real margaritas are made — with fresh lime juice and a hint of sugar. And to keep the fiesta going, enjoy your marg on the rocks with one of these 9 Nutritionist-Approved Chipotle Orders.