4 Moments When a Lower-Sugar Cocktail Is Just What Your Self-Care Routine Ordered

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Picture this: It’s been a long week, and you need some restorative TLC. You might want to decompress with a little bit of me-time (aka firing up your favorite TV series and sinking into your couch). Maybe you’re feeling more social, and you invite some friends over for a night in or an Insta-worthy at-home brunch. Or, you’d love a warm meal—preferably made by anyone but you—so you head to your favorite restaurant.

What do all these moments have in common? They’re an ideal time to enjoy a cocktail—and sometimes, you're just in the mood for a little something sweet (preferably without a sugar overload). That’s when having Baileys Deliciously Light—the creamy Irish liqueur with 40 percent less sugar than the original—on hand comes in clutch.

And sipping on a lower-sugar cocktail is RD-approved, too, if you ask Amy Gorin, MS, RDN. “For most people, there is room for everything that you want to eat and drink—it’s all about moderation,” Gorin says. Taking care of your body and your mind—now that’s self care.

Keep reading for 4 lower-sugar cocktail recipes for every type of self-care moment.

1. At-home brunch: spiked iced coffee

Going out to brunch is great and all, but have you ever tried hosting brunch for your friends at home? Not only do you not have to change out of pajamas if you don't want to, you also have full control over the menu—which means you can serve all your favorite tasty brunch recipes. Sweatpants, your favorite foods, good friends, and delicious iced coffee (spiked, if that's your brunch vibe)? Sounds like the ultimate self-care morning.

2 ½ oz. Baileys Deliciously Light
6 oz. iced coffee

1. Place ice in cup.

2. Fill cup with iced coffee, and mix in Baileys Deliciously Light.

3. Stir and enjoy!

2. Friends’ night in: Lightini

Sometimes a night in with friends is just what the doctor ordered. And let’s be real: Those nights often give way to some of the best memories. “Something shareable… is great for a friends’ night in—whether you’re doing a dinner party, movie night, or game night,” Gorin says. Making a big batch of Lightinis (which is essentially a lighter take on the classic espresso martini) for everyone will fit the bill for your low-key evening.

2 oz. Baileys Deliciously Light
¼ oz. Ketel One Vodka
½ oz espresso

1. Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

2. Shake vigorously, then strain into a martini glass.

3. Self-care weeknight: raspberry smoothie

Smoothies go with self care like avocado goes with toast. So while you’re enjoying your DIY facial and true crime documentary, try this spiked smoothie for a fruity and unique spin on the classic drink. Gorin’s tip for making your me-time cocktail even better? “If you’re at home, use fancy glassware and straws to make the experience more fun,” she says.

2 ½ oz. Baileys Deliciously Light
½ cup frozen raspberries
1 cup ice
Fresh raspberries (optional, for garnish)

1. Blend Baileys Deliciously Light in a blender with raspberries and ice until light and whipped.

2. Pour into a glass, and top with fresh raspberries.

If raspberries aren’t your thing, sub them for another fruit that complements the rich cocoa and vanilla flavor of Baileys Deliciously Light, such as strawberries or peaches.

4. Post-dinner nightcap: tiramisu cocktail

Whether you went out or cooked a tasty recipe for yourself at home, sometimes you just want a little something sweet to end the night. Why not combine dessert with a nightcap for a spiked refreshment you'll definitely want to savor? This one requires a little more effort, but that will make kicking back and enjoying it that much sweeter.

50 ml Baileys Deliciously Light
50 ml strong hot coffee
10 g chopped chocolate
1 Tbsp soft brown sugar
30 g lady finger biscuits
60 g mascarpone
4 ice cubes
Cocoa powder
Chocolate coffee beans (optional, for garnish)
Chocolate flakes (optional, for garnish)

1. Mix the hot coffee with the sugar and chocolate until chocolate is melted and smooth, then set aside to cool.

2. Blend the Baileys and biscuit crumbs with ice cubes in a blender or smoothie maker until smooth.

3. Put the mascarpone in a bowl, add about a third of the Baileys mixture, and mix together with a whisk. Fold in the rest with a spoon.

4. Pour the coffee mixture into two martini cocktail glasses, then spoon over the Baileys-mascarpone mixture. Dust with cocoa powder, then garnish with coffee beans, chocolate flakes, and curls.

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