In a perfect world, you’d be able to score activated charcoal cocktails and avocado margaritas everywhere you go. But try asking for one at your typical bar, and the mixologist will likely look at you like your pineapple romper’s on backwards.
That said, it doesn’t take exotic ingredients to make a drink that won’t totally sabotage your clean eating efforts. In fact, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, it’s more about what you leave out of your order that makes all the difference.
It’s more about what you leave out of your order that makes all the difference.
So what should you turn down during your next rooftop rager? “Avoid high-calorie mixers, like tonic, sodas, and juices,” says the author of The Superfood Swap. (The only exceptions: lemon and lime juice.) She also recommends forgoing white sugar and simple syrup (duh), creamy liquor (sorry, Kahlua fans), and drinks with lots of different alcohols in them. “It’s gonna start adding up to too many calories,” she points out.
But perhaps her most surprising advice of all: The stronger the cocktail, the better. “Don’t drink sissy stuff!” she exclaims. “If you can’t taste the alcohol at all, you run the risk of over-drinking because it tastes too good.”
Armed with her advice, I asked William Cutting—beverage director at new Los Angeles hotspot The Friend—to provide a few healthier drink options that you can request at just about any cocktail bar. His potent creations are perfect for sipping slowly, allowing you to practice the art of mindful imbibing.
Here are the 3 healthiest drinks to order next time you’re looking for some good (clean) fun.
1. Tequila Gimlet
Think of this as a minimalist margarita. If you want to add a little kick, says Cutting, have your bartender add fresh jalapeño to the shaker before straining it out into a glass.
2 oz. 100-percent agave tequila
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. agave
In case you haven’t heard, spritzes are the drink of summer 2017. And with just three ingredients, this pared-down take on the refreshingly fizzy fave ticks all of Blatner’s healthy-drinking boxes.
1 oz. herbal aperitif
2 oz. club soda
2 oz. sparkling wine
3. The Sidewinder Shot
Can’t stomach a straight-up tequila shot? This one takes the edge off, while being a lot healthier than, say, a Jello shooter. “It’s simple, easy, and does the job,” says Cutting. “Just put it in a shot glass and down the hatch.”
1 oz. 100-percent agave tequila
1/4 oz. green chartreuse