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TGIF: Your Favorite Latin Cocktails: Reinvented (Less Calories, More Flavor!)

Mojito
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It’s Friday night, and you’re hosting a cocktail party in a few hours. Nothing formal – just good food, cocktails and friends. Now – you could go the classic route: cosmos, maybe a dry martini or vodka soda. Or, you could spice things up a bit, and present guests with herb-infused margaritas, martinis complete with organic juices and farm-stand fruit, & maybe even some mojitos – created with a bright, muddled concoction of mint leaves, fresh lime and strawberries. The best part of this reinvented cocktail party? The drinks are filled with fresh, healthy ingredients and packed with critical antioxidants that the body needs.  This list of drinks will make you reconsider your “usual” and reach for something innovative and weekend-worthy.

Margarita

Margaritas are always a solid choice. Unfortunately, they’re often packed with processed ingredients and high in calories. Simple ways to cut calories and increase flavor? Use fresh lime! Trade juice for the real thing. Restaurant-made margaritas can weigh in at 500 calories, (no bueno) but by choosing to stay in and make your own, you can save up to 350 calories. All you need for a healthy homemade margarita: clear premium tequila, orange liquor, lime and salt. Containing a mere 150 calories, how can you go wrong? Dress it up with a twist of lime, a lightly salted rim or maybe a piece of fruit. Perfect for a dinner party of fajitas or southwestern salads.

A Mojito is a vacation in a glass. At least that’s what my dad says. When we take our yearly Miami adventure, we make sure to visit our favorite local hotspots and order a few flavored mojitos. (My dad sticks to the classic mojito at the local joints.) The great thing about a mojito is its ability to dress up any cocktail party and provide an instant tropical atmosphere. Refreshing – filled with muddled mint, perfectly sweet – it truly is a delectable cocktail choice.

Like the margarita, it can be served in a variation that has a ridiculously high calorie content – yikes. However, it can be recreated to contain less calories, and more flavor. Throw in some mango or strawberry to the muddled mint mix, and you’ve just added instant vitamin C. Not only did you naturally sweeten the cocktail with antioxidant rich ingredients, but you removed the need for extra sugar. Double win.

Sangria

Any drink can be “trimmed” by using fresh fruit juice, swapping soda for seltzer and choosing nutritious ingredients to infuse in your favorite classic cocktails. Why use cranberry cocktail when you can choose fresh pomegranate juice? Cuts the calorie content in half, cuts refined sugar and adds a vitamin packed punch to a basic cocktail.

Maybe you prefer something with coffee? Skip the thick, heavy liquors and opt for a spiked ice coffee – fresh brewed coffee, splash of Kahlua and a tiny bit vodka.

Opt for more clear liquor, and throw some roasted coffee beans in for an organic twist. No more happy hour guilt. In fact, with these simple, healthy twists and infusions of healthy ingredients, Friday night might just come twice this week.

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