10 Healthier Cocktail Recipes for Your Holiday Weekend

Because guilt-free drinking is the best kind of drinking.

Aside from Memorial Day meaning a long weekend (YESSSS), it’s also a pretty big drinking (and eating) holiday. Now, obviously, the best way to avoid ingesting the liquid equivalent of a giant calorie bomb (and having a serious hangover the next day) is to take it easy on the drinks. But you also can save yourself some calories (and avoid screwing with all the hard work you’ve been putting in at the gym) by making drinks that are a bittttt healthier for your Memorial Day picnic.

Below, 10 healthier cocktail recipes (the “er” in healthier is key, because let’s be honest: no cocktail is the picture of health), that aren’t completely overloaded with sugar, to serve up this weekend. And note: whenever a drink calls for simple syrup — even the fancy, herb-filled kind — you can always go lighter to cut back on the sugar.


Matcha Mint Julep
via The Bojon Gourmet

Yep: People are putting the buzzy (antioxidant-packed!) matcha in cocktails now. Lemon, mint, a little bit of sugar, bourbon and, of course, matcha are all you need to whip up this minty-green (actually) mint julep cocktail.

Skinny Paloma
via Eating Bird Food

Palomas are the overlooked sister to margaritas and trust me: They are just as good, if not better than your tried-and-true marg. It starts with tequila and lime juice, which may sound familiar, but then takes an interesting turn by adding fresh grapefruit juice and sparking water. Pro tip: if you dig spice, I suggest muddling a few slices of jalapeño in the bottom of your glass and building the cocktail on top of that.

Summer Lovin’ Kombucha Cocktail
via Heart Beet Kitchen

Any fruity-flavored kombucha will do for this recipe. Combine it with some vodka, fruity bitters (they suggest passionfruit), sparkling water for a little extra bubble and some basil (slapped in your hands to really get the herbaceous flavors and scents activated).

Lavender French 75
via Love and Lemons

Impress your guests with your cocktail-making skills with this fancy (well, fancy-sounding at least) cocktail. It’s basically gin, lemon juice and lavender simple syrup shaken together. (Easy! But we won’t tell your guests.)

Costa Rican Watermelon Mojito Popsicles
via Boulder Locavore

Yay for grown-up popsicles! All you have to do is blend watermelon, lemon juice, mint, some simple syrup and rum together and throw that mix in popsicle molds, let ’em sit overnight voila! You’re good to go.

Rosemary Grapefruit Moscow Mule
via Domesticate Me

Moscow Mules are just so darn refreshing. This take, with fresh-squeezed lime and grapefruit juices, helps keep this cocktail on the lighter-side. The ginger beer adds that little extra zing with its spice and a fresh sprig of rosemary, which you just stir the drink with, ties it all together by infusing its fresh, herby flavor.

Pimm’s Punch
via With Food and Love

This pitcher cocktail is light, refreshing and filled to the brim with fresh fruit (and not super-boozy) and comes together in a quick 10 minutes, making it great for a party.

Spring Gin Rhubarb
via Delish

A splash of rhubarb simple syrup and bitters give this cocktail a serious dose of flavor and aroma.

via Brooklyn Supper

Three ingredients, folks: That’s all you need to create this traditional whiskey cocktail — bourbon, lemon juice and Cointreau (triple sec). It’s citrus-y, a tad sweet and packs a punch.


Cucumber Mint Gimlet
via Nerds with Knives

Just muddle some cucumber and mint with a touch of simple syrup to get this cocktail going. Shake with ice, gin and lime juice and you’re all set with a refreshing, light and flavorful cocktail.

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