Drink Up

15 Low-Sugar Cocktails To Celebrate Any Season

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Occasionally sipping a delicious cocktail in the company of friends can be good for the soul, even if alcohol is not the best thing for your body.
However, when you do indulge, you don’t have to throw all of your other healthy habits out the window. In other words, your drinks don’t need to be super-sweet sugar bombs.

RELATED: The 5 Best Low-Sugar Kombucha Brands

Instead, make one of these delicious, refreshing low-sugar cocktails for your next soiree (or date night). Some are more traditional hot-weather bevvies, while some are perfect for chilly nights. (Honestly, sipping a tropical potable during the winter doldrums might help whisk you away to a beach in your brain.) The drinks, including one mocktail, rely on fresh fruit for their sweetness—no added sugar required! Take it from peeps who like to mindfully imbibe, these 15 low-sugar drink recipes are worth a toast.

15 Low-Sugar Cocktails

1. Sparkling Party Punch

low-sugar cocktails
This punch uses green tea as its main ingredient, which cuts sugar and adds antioxidants. Then you add the delicious bubbly and just a little bit of tart cranberry for flavor and color, plus fresh fruit for garnish. To keep the sugar content low, choose reduced-sugar or zero-added sugar juice, such as Knudsen’s Just Cranberry. Even Ocean Spray offers a bottle of 100% pure juice.

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2. Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary in a clear glass with sliced tomatoes and lemon on the sides
Or should we say, Bloody Thinner Mary? For this healthier variation, use 100% tomato juice with no added sweeteners such as Lakewood Organic Pure Tomato. (You can also eliminate the Worcestershire sauce, which contains sugar.) Of course, tomato juice itself is loaded with vitamin C and potassium.

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3. Strawberry Ginger Mint Limeade

low-sugar cocktails
What if you took all of the most refreshing foods and blended them into one delicious drink? With ingredients such as ginger, which is loaded with health benefits, and strawberries, packed with antioxidants, this drink is practically a tonic. Which it actually is, if you prepare it as a mocktail! Or add a spirit of choice: vodka, rum, gin, you name it.

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4. Pumpkin Spice Margarita

Boozy Refreshing Autumn Pumpkin Spice Margarita with Tequila
Bring a delicious fall twist to a classic drink with this pumpkin spice-infused marg. The rich flavor comes in part from Cointreau, an orange-flavoured triple sec liqueur from France—and then of course there’s the pumpkin and spices. If you buy pumpkin puree in a can, it’ll often come with extra sugar; if you can’t find a version with no added sugar, the workaround is to get pure pumpkin and infuse it with this healthy homemade spice mix.

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5. Grapefruit Jalapeno Margarita

low-sugar cocktails
No syrupy-sweet bottled margarita mix here! This marg’s got some tart citrus flavor, an amazing spicy kick, and tons of vitamin C, thanks to the grapefruit juice. The sea salt and chili powder rim is the perfect finish.

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6. Espresso Martini

Two glasses of tasty espresso martini cocktail on table
When you need a little pick-me-up with your cool-down, this delicious drink hits the spot. Especially for those who love their coffee black, you can skip the sweet syrup altogether. For an additional flavor twist, sub vanilla-infused vodka for regular vodka.

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7. Mango Pina Colada

low-sugar cocktails
You don’t have to be at a beach to enjoy this tropical intoxicant. Sub straight fruit juice for chunks of fresh pineapple (packed with vitamin C) and uber-hydrating coconut water.

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8. Keto-Friendly Gin and Tonic

Glasses of cocktail with ice on grey background
Gin is naturally carb-free, but we can’t say that about tonic water, which contains sweetener (often high-fructose corn syrup). Though quinine, the ingredient that gives tonic its distinct taste, is basically carb-free. Make a low-sugar version using light tonic water—but beware: Many versions use artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame; look for a tonic that uses stevia instead. You can also substitute some of the tonic for unsweetened seltzer water; we prefer lime-flavored, which compliments the drink perfectly.

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9. Light and Spicy Margarita

low-sugar cocktails
This super simple variation on the classic marg requires a bit of pre-planning: Infuse your tequila overnight with jalapenos. The peppers’ heat comes from capsaicin, which is notable for its anti-inflammatory properties.

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10. Blackberry-Thyme Margarita

Non Alcoholic Blackberry Drink with fresh Blackberries and slice of orange.
This adventurous take on the margie also eschews store-bought mixes, which are generally filled with sugars, artificial flavors and colors.This one gets a bold purple hue from the berries, and thyme lends a perfect herbal note.

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11. Nut Milk Tea Cocktail

Almond milk in glass with liquor isolated on white
Here’s a fun tipple with an East Asian-inspired twist: milk tea. In this case, choose a plant-based milk (check out our primer here), although the original recipe calls for almond milk, along with a shot of almond liqueur. Skip the simple syrup to keep it low-sugar.

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12. Grapefruit Mojito

low-sugar cocktails
No need to muddle white sugar for this mojito. Instead, skip the sugar altogether and make it tangy by mixing sliced grapefruit with fresh mint.

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13. Pomegranate Champagne

Mimosa cocktail with Rose Champagne, Pomegranate and Rosemary in flute glasses, copy space. Mocktail, Mimosa sparkling pink drink.
We’re fans of Champagne for any reason, but of course New Year’s Eve is an especially perfect occasion to serve it (and it’ll be here before you know it). Add pomegranate juice, then garnish with some of the red seeds to make it extra festive! Meanwhile, you’re adding a boost of vitamin C to the drink, among other health benefits of the pomegranate.

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14. Raspberry Peach Strawberry Sangria

low-sugar cocktails
Again, the natural sweetness of fresh fruit replaces the added sugar in this tasty recipe. This one’s also low-ABV (alcohol by volume), since it’s just wine with club soda.

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15. Avocado Eggnog

Eggnog on wood and marble table

OK, we admit it: This one does contain extra sugar—but the winter holidays are the perfect time for a conscious indulgence, right? And this non-dairy eggnog dials down the fat and the sugar of a traditional nog, substituting coconut milk for cream, and adding avocado and protein powder. This merry mixture only calls for half a cup of turbinado sugar to make an entire batch, which yields four drinks (or more, depending on how you pour). And of course, the carbs and fat are balanced by protein in this egg-rich drink.

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(Images: Shutterstock)

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