32 oz., $5.99, bajabob.com Margarita lovers raved about this mix compared to several other brands of low-calorie ’rita mixers, praising the bright citrus flavor and the lack of aftertaste. Baja Bob’s mix is sweetened with Splenda, and for zero calories per serving, we were quite shocked at what a satisfying substitute it is for the real thing.
The holidays pose a host of challenges to a healthy diet, but one of the most common pitfalls is alcohol. Cocktails are offered up at every party, and can be hard to turn down, whether you’re in a festive mood or just need to unwind. While there’s unfortunately no way to remove the calories in booze, you can lighten up your drink by choosing low-calorie mixers. We tested out some of the latest offerings on the skinny mix market to see if any were worth swapping in for your favorite drink. Take heart: we found lots to like!
750 mL, $14.99, skinnygirl.com Bethenny Frankel’s line of skinny cocktails is slightly different from most other offerings because they come pre-mixed with alcohol. Our testers almost universally disliked the line’s take on a margarita (the first launch of the line) compared to others we tested. The newer White Cranberry Cosmo, a festive holiday choice, fared better, and is under 100 calories per 4-oz serving and sweetened with agave syrup. Some testers didn’t like that you can’t adjust the strength of your drink, but others enjoyed the “pleasant light taste” and deemed it “refreshing.”
32 ounces, $6.99, slimbobandskinnychick.com This low-calorie mix stood out from some of the more watered-down concoctions. When mixed with whiskey, testers liked the flavor, which was strong but not overwhelming. One described it as “kicky.” Fresh key lime and lemon juice give the mix its pungency, and add only 15 calories per 4 oz. serving.
750 mL, $6.99, powellandmahoney.com A handful of our testers strongly preferred this margarita mix to Baja Bob’s, a divide that most likely came down to natural versus artificial sweeteners. Powell & Mahoney’s product uses organic agave nectar and pear juice, which lends it a tangier flavor that some testers thought was more authentic to traditional margaritas. It also adds a few calories (30 per serving) but that’s a worthwhile swap if you’re after a real-deal taste.
32 ounces, $6.99, bevmo.com This cranberry-flavored mixer came in around the middle of the pack when we used it to mix up a batch of classic cosmopolitans. Vodka lovers found it a decent substitute for higher-calorie martini-style drinks, but it didn’t necessarily lure others away from their cocktail of choice. With real cranberry and key lime juices, this makes a decidedly tart drink, but it rings in at only 15 calories.
750 mL, $6.99, powellandmahoney.com The ginger highball we created with this mix (simply by adding equal parts whiskey) yielded a love-it-or-hate-it result. The testers who loved it were rapturous, praising the spicy flavor and “pleasant burn” and labeling it a “great winter cocktail” that didn’t seem like a sacrifice to the diet gods. Those who prefer lighter fare were put off by the aggressive flavor. This mix was the most caloric we tested, at 50 per serving, but some testers dubbed it the clear winner in taste.
Making a few smart choices will keep you healthy on your next vacation—and happily looking forward to the next one!
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