Summer Cocktails--your choice

We scoured the menus of national restaurant chains and researched popular drinks to find out how many calories are really in your favorite refreshers. Let's just say that mudslide might sink you in the deep end of the pool.
To the rescue: Christine Avanti, Los Angeles certified nutritionist and author of Skinny Chicks Don't Eat Salads (Rodale, 2009). Here she reveals calorie-trimming tips and swimsuit-friendly alternatives for top summer sippers. And remember, drink ingredients and portion sizes vary widely across locations so ask how it's made and then customize accordingly.
Whether you'll be sipping daquiris by the pool, gossiping over gimlets at brunch, or serving up a pitcher of something special at your outdoor party, cooling down with a cocktail is one of summer's great pleasures—and a surefire way to pack on the pounds!
Get rid of the ice cream, whipped cream, and the chocolate syrup or go very light on the syrup, says Avanti. Ask the bartender to use only 1 oz. of each liquor.
If this is your once-a-year treat and you won't settle for a lighter version of it, at least tell the bartender to only whip up a half-portion of the drink or split it with a friend.
Bartender, lighten it up!
Ask for only 1 oz. of each serving of alcohol and skip the syrup. If you really want to trim calories but keep the orange flavor, Avanti suggests swapping the orange-flavored liquor for 1 Tbsp. of orange juice.
Dodge it: Long Island Iced Tea
Don't be fooled into thinking this "tea" is good for you. This cocktail combines vodka, gin, rum, tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, cola and sometimes additional juices or sugar.
Bartender, lighten it up!
Switch to diet cola and cut the alcohol servings in half. Eliminate all added sugars and juices. Swap triple sec for orange slices to keep the orange flavor, says Avanti.
Drink it: Strawberry Daiquiri
Average calories: 220 to 320
This blender drink is usually made with light rum, lime juice, sugar or sugar syrup, and frozen strawberries. Strawberry schnapps or triple sec can also be added.
Bartender, lighten it up!
Cut out the added sugar, strawberry schnapps or triple sec, and keep the rum to 1 oz., suggests Avanti. Skip any whipped cream topping. If the drink isn't sweet enough, add a packet of zero-calorie sweetener to taste.
Try our virgin refreshing berry smoothie for only 95 calories per serving.


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