Low-Calorie Mocktails

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Hi HG,

My friends and I throw girls' night get-togethers at least twice a month. And while most of us love slimmed-down cocktails, not everyone in the group drinks. How can I make some of your happy-hour recipes into mocktails so everyone feels included?

Mocktail Mindy

Hey Mindy,

Hungry Girl’s Advice for Making Low-Calorie Mocktails

Fun!!! (Can I come?) There are a few tricks to creating virgin HG cocktails, a.k.a. mocktails. Check 'em out...

Make the right swap. First, you need to leave out the liquor. (DOY!) But if you simply omit the alcohol, the drink won't have the right flavor balance and the consistency might be off. So you'll need to add more of whatever no-calorie or low-calorie liquid mixer is in the recipe -- diet soda, light juice, light vanilla soymilk, etc. Increase that by the amount of liquor the recipe calls for. (If the drink has several mixers, just increase the main one.) So, if the recipe calls for 1 1/2 oz. liquor (which is 3 tbsp., by the way), just increase your mixer by that much. A shot (1 1/2 oz.) of most clear liquor has around 100 calories. And since there aren't many calories in that amount of most mixers, your mocktail will likely have 90 - 100 fewer calories than the cocktail version.

Reduce the sweetener. Without the alcohol, you'll need less of the sweet stuff. Many HG cocktails call for sugar-free powdered drink mix, which cuts the strong taste of the liquor. The virgin version won't need as much. Try halving the drink mix to start, and then add more to taste. Pssst... If you're looking for an all-natural sugar-free powdered drink mix, True Lemonade is great! And for recipes that call for flavored syrup, check out the all-natural options from Totonac.

Rather start with a mocktail recipe? Check out these group-friendly, alcohol-free creations: our Lemonade Faux-jito Pitcher and Fizzy Virgin Sangria! And to whip up a fun pineapple-y drink for one, click right here. Or just get your hands on Crystal Light Mocktail drink mixes -- those are designed for no-alcohol sippers.

Thirsty for more? Good! Now that you know how to turn cocktails into mocktails, pick up a copy of Hungry Girl Happy Hour. Click here for recipes from the “Girls' Night” episode of Hungry Girl, including a slew of great party nibbles to go with those beverages. And check out the HG Guide to Girls' Night Essentials for more fun stuff!

Now you're ready to MOCK OUT!

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