I got a great question on healthy options for cocktails. In terms of alcohol itself, some have less sugar or calories than others, but wine, beer, and hard liquors all can fit into a healthy diet when consumed moderately and reasonably. I look more at what is accompanying them and how much/often you drink them. Here are options to switch it up:
#1: Food first always.
For liquors: Skip the mixers and create your own.
Club soda is always an easy go to for all liquors and cocktail types, plain or flavored. My favorite brand of seltzer is spindrift because they use real fruit to flavor it-- flavors include blackberry, lemon, cucumber, orange mango and more. It mixes great with most clear liquors for a refreshing and light twist on drinks like vodka/gin and tonics.
If you can't stand seltzer or are just getting tired of it, you can spike a smoothie. One of my favorites is blended pineapple, berries, and cucumber with Tito’s. Frozen fruits are your friend, and if you don't have a blender, simply adding them to your drink adds some sweetness and flavor.
Another alternative to club soda is kombucha— it’s sweet, bubbly and has less sugar than traditional mixers without sacrificing flavor.
A twist on a margarita: tequila + lime juice + citrus kombucha + ice.
A twist on a moscow mule: swap ginger beer with ginger kombucha
A twist on a mojito: mint leaves + strawberries + lime juice + kom bucha + rum
For sangria lovers: again I recommend making them yourself. A simple recipe:
Diced apples + diced oranges + lemon juice + red wine + vrandy + fresh squeeze OJ or flavored sparkling water. Adding spices like cinnamon sticks also boosts flavor without unnecessary fillers that bars often use like soda.
For the sparkles: champagne/ prosecco + fresh squeezed OJ or grapefruit (will have you never looking back to store bought juice for your mimosas)
Mixers I generally recommend staying away from are sodas or energy drinks like Red Bull-- while it's true they have high calories, it's more the mixture of hypersweet, caffeinated beverages with a depressant like alcohol that I'm concerned about. The majority of us love our drinks but remember that alcohol takes a toll on our bodies, so it's more than just the calories and sugars we should be mindful of, but how alcohol really impacts us as a whole. Balance is key.