CINCINNATI -- On July 4, go ahead and (responsibly) celebrate with some cool cocktails - all while (responsibly) watching your waistline.
On average, Americans drink about 20 percent of their total calories, according to Fitness Magazine . The publication spoke with mixologists and dietitians to find some of the lowest calorie drinks and recipes so that your Independence Day menu doesn't change the figure you've worked hard for.
Having a drink or two doesn't mean you have to lose your bikini body, even when the holidays call for some cocktail culprits.
Check out 9 low calorie cocktails that can be added to your July 4 cookouts.
- Pina Colada Cooler (165 calories) These sugary drinks can have more calories than a double cheeseburger, but try this "slimmed down" version:
1 1/2 ounces coconut-flavored rum
3 ounces pineapple juice
4 ounces sparkling water
1 tablespoon of Coco Lopez Cream of Coconut Lite (found in the drink mixers section of many supermarkets)
Blueberry Lemon Breeze (205 calories) Lowering calories in this martini means using agave nectar instead of simple syrup.
3/4 ounce light agave nectar, such as Wholesome Sweeteners, available at Whole Foods or other natural foods stores
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
Splash of champagne (about 1 ounce)
-Shake blueberries and agave, add gin and lemon juice, then shake for 20 seconds. Strain contents of shaker into a martini glass and then top off with champagne. Garnish with 3 blueberries on a cocktail stick.
Mimosa Lite (120 calories) Simple substitutions, such as light juice, can cut calories in half when making this brunch time beverage.
2 ounces Minute Maid Light Orange Tangerine Juice
4 ounces champagne
Juice of 1/2 medium-size orange, or 1 to 2 ounces
Add several ice cubes to a tall glass. Squeeze juice of the orange into the glass. Pour in orange tangerine juice, followed by champagne. Stir. Garnish with fresh orange rinds, curled.
Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail (259 calories) Sweet and minty flavors can come in cocktails without too many calories.
1 sprig of mint
3/4 ounce light agave nectar, such as Wholesome Sweeteners
1 3/4 ounces citrus vodka
3/4 ounce lemon juice
Shake together mint and strawberries, then add remaining ingredients. Shake vigorously with. Pour contents into a glass. (Include all of the mint and strawberry pulp.)
Mojito Makeover (140 calories) Mojitos can be a safe bet for diet drinks, but can be even safer when Splenda is used in place of simple syrup.
2 ounces light rum
1 ounce Splenda syrup, Da Vinci's Sugar Free Sweetener Syrup
1 ounce lime juice
7 mint leaves
Splash of club soda
Shake together mint leaves and a lime wedge. Add ice and other ingredients and shake again. Pour into a glass and top off with soda.
Skinny Wasaberita (224 calories) A margarita's main ingredient - Cointreau - is notorious for adding calories to the mix, but substituting wasabi powder can cut about 95 calories.
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
3/4 ounce lime juice
1 ounce light agave nectar, such as Wholesome Sweeteners
1 3/4 ounces Tequila blanco
Shake the ingredients with ice for 30 seconds, then strain over fresh ice into a margarita glass.
Choco-lite Cocktail (227 calories) Did someone say chocolate?! Skipping the 500 calories typically found in a chocolate martini is an easy task if you use creme de cacao and half and half.
1 ounce Godiva chocolate liqueur
1 ounce vodka
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1 teaspoon Hershey's Syrup Lite (for lining rim of glass)
In a shaker, combine chocolate liqueur, vodka and milk with crushed ice. Shake to mix. Pour into glass.
Grapefruit Basil Martini (161 calories) This cocktail gives health nuts an added bonus - a dose of vitamins and antioxidants.
2 basil leaves
1 ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce Da Vinci's Sugar Free Sweetener Syrup
1 3/4 ounces gin
Splash of sparkling wine
Shake together basil and syrup. Add syrup and, then shake with ice for 20 seconds. Strain ingredients into a martini glass and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.
Blended Raspberry Cocktail (115 calories) When ice is added to a blended drink, each drink contains fewer calories, especially when fruit juices are the main ingredients.
1/2 cup ice or several ice cubes
8 ounces Minute Maid Light Raspberry Passion
1 1/2 ounces vodka
Blend ingredients, then garnish with fresh raspberries.