By Lauren Smith
Tropical cocktails are a rite of summer-delicious and refreshing. The problem is, the calories can push your diet over the edge. To counter this, we've come up with some less-indulgent versions of classic seasonal favorites. Enjoy! Photo credit: Shuttershock
It's tempting to pick up a bottle of store-bought frozen margarita mix, but that's where most of the 325 calories lie. Instead, just get tequila, limes for fresh-squeezed lime juice and some Triple Sec to make your own version. Calories saved: 153 per 6 ounces.
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Sugar adds to the taste of this Cuban specialty, helping release the mint flavor. It also adds to the 145-calorie count. Instead, use a sugar substitute, like stevia, which contains virtually no calories, yet works to enhance the mint's flavor during the muddling process. Calories saved: 80 per 6 ounces.
This cranberry-flavored cocktail is pretty to look at, but full of empty calories. Lower the count of this 130-calorie drink by using diet cranberry juice. Then grab a bottle of Ty Ku Soju, an Asian spirit that is a great alternative to vodka and contains only 68 calories per 1.5 ounces. Calories saved: 65 per 4 ounces.
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Don't be fooled-just because it's named after a fruit doesn't mean this drink is healthy. Just like with margaritas, the pre-made mixes are packed with sugar, leaving you with a drink that can peak at 350 calories. Make your own with fresh strawberries (if they're not sweet enough add more sweetness with a sugar substitute) and definitely skip the whipped cream topping. Calories saved 215 per 8 ounces.
The queen of summer drinks, the piña colada can max out at over 650 calories! Substitute Coco López Cream of Coconut Lite for the coconut cream and coconut milk. Combine it with pineapple juice, sparkling water and a little rum, and you can satisfy both your sweet tooth and your diet. Calories saved: 475 per 8 ounces.
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Original article appeared on WomansDay.com.
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