Staying in shape this summer doesn’t have to mean completely cutting out those summer tipples. Check out our guide for the best ways to enjoy the occasional boozy treat without the guilt this summer. Whether you’re entertaining or just want a way to lighten up your usual go-to at the pub, have a browse of our top tips!
For health benefits
As you may already know, red wine is known to have a number of health benefits when it comes to antioxidant content. Packed with resveratrol, proven to minimise the effects of sedentary behaviour, red wine could in fact do you big favours when it comes to those extra rest days. Maintaining muscle size over sedentary periods and minimising the risk of obesity in the short term, that sangria is looking all the more appealing.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 500g fresh fruit including sliced strawberries, sliced oranges, blackberries and chopped apple
- 500ml soda water
- 60ml vodka
- Pour the fruit, wine and vodka in a pitcher and stir thoroughly.
- Chill overnight.
- Just before serving, mix in the soda water.
- To serve, pour over ice and garnish with any extra fruit.
Drinks with the least calories
If it's fewer calories you’re after, red wine is perhaps not at the top of your list. Try a lighter, crisp white wine such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio for up to 60 calories less per glass than a red. To keep the calories down, add soda water to make a lighter spritzer. This means you can have more drinks for fewer calories!
These swaps can help you to avoid the extra calories racked up by excess sugars and sweeteners
- Go for soda instead of tonic water – tonic water contains added sugars and fruit extracts to boost flavour. Otherwise, a slimline tonic saves massively on calories – bringing a G+T down to just 55 cals! See our recipe below.
- Avoid drinking spirits with mixers like lemonade or fruit juices which are packed with fructose. Instead opt for drinking spirits over ice.
- When it comes to beers, craft varieties are often the biggest on calories. As a general rule, those with a higher alcohol percentage are the most calorific, so choose wisely. There are now plenty of light options to have a go with.
Skinny Gin & Tonic
- 60ml Hendricks gin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- A few slices of cucumber
- Slimline tonic
- Fill each glass with fresh ice and add 3-4 small slices of cucumber per glass.
- Pour the gin, lemon juice and rose water into the glass.
- Top with chilled tonic water and stir.
Reduce your sugar intake
Avoid cocktails packed with ice like mojitos and margaritas, which are usually packed with sugar to add flavour. Typically high in calories as they are often served in large glasses with sugary pre-made mixers, cocktails can be dangerous if you’re trying to keep the calories down. However, try our alternative recipe for a skinny watermelon mojito below.
Skinny Watermelon Mojito
- 1 cup watermelon, seeded roughly chopped
- ½ lime, juiced
- 4 mint leaves
- Ice, crushed
- 1 fl. oz. Bacardi Rum
- Club soda
- In a blender, process watermelon until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and set aside.
- Place the lime juice and mint in a small bowl and squash together so the flavours combine.
- Pour the mint and lime juice into the glass over the top of the watermelon.
- Top up the glass with the ice, before adding the rum and soda.
- Top with some mint.
Whether you’re the designated driver or simply want to avoid alcohol altogether, there are plenty of options to try without feeling like the odd one out! Alcohol-free beer and wine options are available in all good supermarkets to satisfy most tastes, but giving alcohol-free cocktails a go is also a great way of avoiding the booze without having to stick to the standard glass of OJ.
Virgin Peach Cooler
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 lime, thinly sliced
- Peach squash or cordial
- Cloudy lemonade
- A few sliced strawberries
- Handful of raspberries
- 2 ripe peaches, thinly sliced
- Sparkling water
- A couple of mint sprigs
- Pour the lemon juice and lime juice into a large jug.
- Add the sliced lemon and lime, and a handful of ice cubes to the jug or pitcher.
- Add the peach squash or cordial to fill about one-third of the jug and dilute with lemonade to fill up.
- Add the strawberries, raspberries and peaches and before adding sparkling water and mint sprigs.