Mint Julep (185 calories)
For a cocktail with three ingredients—lots of whiskey, some mint leaves, a little sugar—it's awfully difficult to get made right, and fantastic when it is. But this is one to keep an eye on—juleps, the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby, are typically made with bonded or overproof whiskey, which packs more calories than a standard 80-proof spirit.
Manhattan (187 calories)
Like the martini's, this drink's simple construction—rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters--conceals layers of meditative complexity. But we'd suggest limiting yourself to one after dinner; think of it as a dessert drink instead of an aperitif.
Gin and Tonic (190 calories)
Created by British officers abroad as a vehicle for the malaria-fighting effects of quinine, the classic gin and tonic remains one of the most refreshing drinks ever. For more variations on the classic theme, consider these summer spins on gin and tonics.
Margarita (192 calories)
A dash of freshly squeezed lime juice highlights the agave-fruit flavor of the tequila, while Cointreau supplies a nuanced, orange-tinged sweetener for a juicy, addictive libation. Bonus: Add all the salt you want to the rim, since there's no calorie hit.
Negroni (195 calories)
An incomparable warm-weather cocktail, the velvety, bittersweet blend of gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth is a match made in heaven. Innovators are taking this to drink to new heights, though we can't calculate the additional caloric content of adding Grand Marnier-infused wood-chip smoke.
White Russian (195)
There's a reason Jeff Bridges isn't exactly in Ironman shape in The Big Lebowski—his character's favorite cocktail is basically coffee ice cream plus booze. And the recipe we're using here is fairly modest—only oz of both Kahlua and cream (adding more of either will jack the calories even higher).
Gin Martini (200 calories)
When made correctly, this spare, potent mixture of gin and dry vermouth—with a dash of orange bitters imparting a floral touch—is liquid perfection. If you're really watching your weight, opt for cocktail onions as a garnish (as found in the Gibson), as opposed to olives, and you'll reduce the calorie count to 165.
Sidecar (207 calories)
In this bracingly dry concoction, the sharp acidity of lemon juice gives way to subtle, woody Cognac, softened by the sweet citrus notes of Cointreau.
Long Island Iced Tea (213)
The famous frat-boy booze mash-up (vodka, gin, tequila, rum, Cointreau, lemon juice, simple syrup, Coke) is bad for you in more ways than one. In addition to putting you on the fast track to Blackout City, a few of these could almost singlehandedly add an inch or two to your waistline. Proceed with caution.
Mai Tai (219 calories)
The secret to the canonical tiki cocktail is a good, homemade orgeat syrup (derived from toasted almonds), which lends a creamy texture and nutty flavor to a boozy combo of two rums (light and gold). Throw in some lime juice and Cointreau and it all adds up to a remarkably balanced, if fattening, drink.
More from MSN Healthy Living:
- 7 ways to avoid the worst summer calorie bombs
- 7 foods that do the weight-loss work for you
- Eating clean? 6 processed foods to avoid and make at home instead
- Bing: Alcohol and weight loss
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