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No sugar & low-calorie (no & low) cocktails

  • No sugar & low-calorie (no & low) cocktails image 1

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Frustratingly alcohol is calorific with your average spirit coming in at approx. 65 calories per 30ml (1oz). Start adding sweet liqueurs and sugar syrups and the calories start piling up. Thankfully, in January 2019 Monin released a sweetener which is a great alternative to sugar syrup (2:1). This is sugar-free and virtually calorie free, so now tasty cocktails don’t have to be very calorific.

Beware hidden sugar

Spirits - Some spirits, such as some gins, most cognacs, and many rums, contain a couple of grams of sugar per litre so select your base spirits carefully.
Bitters - Most aromatic bitters contain a small amount of sugar or caramel but with just dashes being used, these contribute only trace amounts of sugar to a cocktail.
Champagne – Brut champagne may be dry but it still contains sugar. Look for Brut Nature or Brut Zero champagnes which don’t have sugar added during the dosage process. Despite this, they may contain up to 2 grams of sugar per litre (see our Champagne levels of dryness page).
Agave nectar – This is a good way of sweetening a cocktail without using processed sugar cane or sugar beet. However, the agave nectar is itself processed, contains sugars and is calorific. Some of the cocktails below contain Agave Sec as an alternative to triple sec liqueur. Agave sec is an orange liqueur sweetened with agave nectar rather than sugar, but beware, it still contains sugars, just agave sugars.

How many calories in a cocktail

All cocktail recipes on this website, under the heading "Nutrition", indicate approximately how many calories are in the recipe using the measures and products we have specified. For your convenience, we have also put calorific values per serve on the following low-calorie cocktails. Just click on the cocktails below to see the full recipe.

No & low cocktails

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Bloody Mary (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Vodka, tomato juice (unsweetened), lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener, celery salt, black pepper, hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire sauce (optional due to sugar).
We say: With vitamin loaded tomato and lemon juices, this sugar-free, low-calorie Mary is almost a healthy option.
Approx. calories: 158

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Caipirinha (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Fresh lime, sugar-free sweetener and cachaça.
We say: Forget those Caipirinhas blighted by crunchy undissolved sugar crystals, this version is sugar-free.
Approx. calories: 101

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Cosmopolitan (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Citrus vodka, Agave Sec, cranberry juice (unsweetened), lime juice and sugar-free sweetener.
We say: The cranberry juice you select and even some vodkas may introduce unwanted sugar into this cocktail, so choose judiciously. We’ve used Agave Sec as our orange liqueur due to its being exclusively sweetened with agave nectar.
Approx. calories: 147

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Daiquiri (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Light rum, lime juice and sugar-free sweetener
We say: Light and delicate, and not overly citrusy so allowing the rum to shine. And it’s sugar-free! At least it is if you choose your rum carefully.
Approx. calories: 105

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Espresso Martini (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Vodka, espresso coffee, sugar-free sweetener and salt.
We say: Slightly thinner in mouthfeel than a regular sugar loaded Espresso Martini but equally as tasty.
Approx. calories: 103

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Fitzgerald (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Gin, sugar-free sweetener, lemon juice and Angostura Aromatic bitters
We say: Zingy candied sherbet lemon with hints of botanical complexity and herbal bitters.
Approx. calories: 109

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Gimlet (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Sugar-free sweetener, dry gin, lime juice and sugar-free sweetener.
We say: Fresh lime juice replaces cordial in this vitamin C loaded, almost healthy gin laced sugar-free version of a classic Gimlet.
Approx. calories: 101

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Gin Basil Smash (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Basil leaves, gin, lemon juice and sugar-free sweetener.
We say: Herbal and refreshing. Basil, gin and lemon sit harmoniously, balanced by sugar-free sweetener.
Approx. calories: 100

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Gin Sling (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Gin, lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener and soda.
We say: Light and refreshing with lemon freshening gin while a splash of sugar-free sweetener provides balance.
Approx. calories: 100

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Long Island Iced Tea (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Light white rum, gin, vodka, tequila blanco, Agave Sec, sugar-free sweetener, lemon juice, lime juice and no sugar cola.
We say: As the cola falls and bleeds its way through the otherwise clear drink (it takes noticeably longer to fall than full sugar cola), it does end up looking remarkably like weak black tea and indeed the taste isn’t so far removed from spirit laced weak tea with citrus fruit.
Approx. calories: 136

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Margarita (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Tequila reposado, Agave Sec, lime juice, sugar-free sweetener, salt.
We say: Tasty, zingy, low-calorie and sugar-free. What more can you ask of a Margarita?
Approx. calories: 122

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Mint Julep (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Mint, bourbon whiskey, sugar-free sweetener and Angostura Aromatic Bitters (optional).
We say: Bourbon with minty freshness served ice cold with the hint of sweetness amplifying flavours provided by sweetener rather than sugar.
Approx. calories: 128

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Mojito (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Mint, light white rum, lime juice, sugar-free sweetener and soda.
We say: Rum, mint and lime, like every other decent Mojito, but without the sugar.
Approx. calories: 95

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New York Sour (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Bourbon whiskey, lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener, Angostura Aromatic Bitters (optional) and red wine.
We say: The splash of Claret wine makes this cocktail – both in terms of flavour and visually. Adding the aromatic bitters will help the flavour but also adds trace amounts of sugar.
Approx. calories: 137

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Old Fashioned (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Bourbon, sugar-free sweetener and Angostura Aromatic Bitters (optional).
We say: Despite being made with a dash of sweetener rather than sugar, or even Demerara sugar, this is a very palatable Old Fashioned and many will not be able to differentiate between the classic sugar-loaded version.
Approx. calories: 127

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Passion Fruit Altern’atini (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Fresh passion fruit, vodka, sugar-free sweetener and orange bitters (optional)
We say: A couple of dashes orange bitters helps add a touch of complexity and balance to this vodka-laced fruity cocktail but beware those bitters may add trace amounts of sugar.
Approx. calories: 103

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Sazerac (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Absinthe, bourbon, sugar-free sweetener, Peychaud’s Bitters (optional) and Angostura (optional).
We say: A Sazerac just isn’t a Sazerac without dashes of bitters but beware: Peychaud’s contains low amounts of caramel and Angostura Aromatic bitters contain sugar. So, include these and your finished cocktail will have trace amounts of sugar. The weight and flavour of the spirits in this cocktail are such that I defy anybody to call this out as being sugar-free – or even very very low sugar. All that whiskey does come loaded with some calories though.
Approx. calories: 168

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Tom Collins (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Gin, lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener and soda.
We say: If opting to make this Tom Collins with an Old Tom gin (as it should be), beware which brand you choose as many Old Tom gins contain sugar.
Approx. calories: 101

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Vodka Collins (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: vodka, lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener and soda.
We say: Cleansing, easy drinking, sugar-free and just 100 calories.
Approx. calories: 101

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Vodka Sour (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Vodka, sugar-free sweetener, Angostura Aromatic Bitters (optional) and egg white.
We say: As with most sours, adding a couple of dashes aromatic bitters greatly contributes to the cocktail’s flavour but this also adds trace amounts of sugar.
Approx. calories: 114

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Whiskey Sour (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Bourbon, lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener, Angostura Aromatic Bitters (optional) and egg white.
We say: This Whiskey Sour isn’t very sour and those wanting a drier drink should consider reducing the sweetener to nearer 15ml (1/2oz).
Approx. calories: 127

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White Lady (no sugar & low-calorie)
With: Gin, Agave Sec, lemon juice, sugar-free sweetener and egg white.
We say: Lemon and orange meringue with light gin botanical notes.
Approx. calories: 141

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