Two Manhattan Cocktails in Martini glassesIndulging in a little bit of the happy juice doesn’t have to have an adverse effect on your waistline or your blood sugar levels. Believe it or not, there are plenty of great healthy alcoholic drink recipes out there that are just as tasty and buzz-inducing as their not-as-healthy counterparts.

Remember that we’re talking about healthy drinks here and that encompasses more than just calorie-counting. Yes, the number of calories should certainly be taken into consideration, but remember that having some extra calories that are backed with real nutritional value is better than having a lower calorie drink with no nutritional or healthful benefits whatsoever.

Are you ready to whet your whistle?

Hot Pomegranate Toddy

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy (Liv Friis-larsen / Fotolia)

Let’s start off with something warm. Shown above, this recipe produces twelve 6-ounce servings, each with just 123 calories while providing 20% and 16% of the recommended daily values of vitamin A and vitamin C, respectively.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of pomegranate juice
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 3 one-inch strips of lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 3-inch stick of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/3 cup of bourbon or rum

Directions:

  1. Combine pomegranate juice with water, sugar, and lemon juice in a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. Cut a 6-inch square of 100% cotton cheesecloth for a spice bag. Fill with lemon peel, cinnamon and cloves, tying closed with kitchen string.
  3. Add the bag to the saucepan and reduce heat after bringing just to a boil.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes covered.
  5. Remove the spice bag.
  6. Add alcohol to saucepan, stirring gently.
  7. Serve with additional lemon peel strips for garnish if desired.

Cilantro Negroni

Cilantro Negroni

Cilantro Negroni (MarthaStewart.com)

Most cocktails don’t call for much, if anything, in terms of herbs, but leave it up to Martha Stewart to remind us how “all kinds of cocktails perk up when herbs are added to the mix.” This drink is aromatic and simple; replace the sugar with a non-calorie sweetener to make it healthier.

Ingredients:

  • 3 sprigs of cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon of superfine sugar
  • 1 orange wedge
  • 2 ounces of Campari
  • 4 ounces of club soda
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Muddle cilantro with orange wedge and sugar in a glass.
  2. Add Campari and ice.
  3. Top with club soda and stir.

The Classic Manhattan

Manhattan

Manhattan (star5112 / Flickr)

Granted, a Manhattan doesn’t have much in terms of nutritional value, but it is only 129 calories with 0g of fat and only about 2g of carbohydrates. The recipe is reasonably straightforward and has plenty of alcoholic content.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces of blended whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce of dry vermouth
  • 1/2 ounce of sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash of bitters

Directions:

  1. Swirl all ingredients with ice to chill
  2. Pour into a cocktail glass
  3. Leave out the usual maraschino cherry for a healthier alcoholic beverage

Bloody Mary Healthy Alcoholic Drink Recipe

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary (neil conway / Flickr)

There are a lot of calories in this Bloody Mary recipe, but it’s actually a pretty easy one to follow and in terms of healthy alcoholic drink recipes, it’s one that provides lots of vitamins and other nutritional goodness. Follow these directions and you’ll six drinks of about 125 calories each.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large celery stalks
  • 36 ounces of low-sodium tomato juice
  • 2 teaspons of prepared horseradish
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • 1 teaspoon of grated yellow onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspon celery salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of vodka
  • hot sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. Cut up and puree celery in a food processor until finely minced
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients except the alcohol in a large pitcher
  3. Pour 1/4 of the mixture into the food processor through feed tube while running
  4. Pour food processor contents into pitcher
  5. Add vodka
  6. Stir gently and chill
  7. Serve with ice in tall glasses, optionally with rimmed with celery salt
  8. Garnish with celery stalk or pickle if desired

True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade with Vodka

Raspberry Lemonade

Raspberry Lemonade (orijinal / Flickr)

Sometimes, the simplest healthy alcoholic drink recipes are the best ones. While you could just go with regular lemonade, True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade lets you change things up without worrying too much about your diet. A single serving of this all natural lemonade is just 5 calories, so that’s only 105 calories when you factor in the vodka.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces of vodka
  • 1 single-serve packet of True Lemon Raspberry Lemonade mix
  • 1 1/2 cup of water
  • Ice

Directions:

  1. Combine lemonade mix with water, adjusting ratio to taste
  2. Add vodka and ice
  3. Stir and enjoy

Assuming your still conscious after making it through all the drinks above, check out our list of healthy alcoholic drinks for men and women.

Image credit: Steve Cukrov  / Fotolia

###