4 Calorie Packed Cocktails to Avoid

March 26, 2014
by Michael Barber
4 Calorie Packed Cocktails to Avoid

The skinny cocktail has become a popular choice because delicious sweet cocktails can pack a caloric punch. While most alcoholic drinks have empty calories, some can eat up your caloric intake in as little as two servings! Before you go out after a hard week, make sure you understand which cocktails to avoid.

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White Russian

This mixed drink was made famous by Jeff Bridges' character in 1998 film The Big Lebowski. However, the White Russian is a calorie offender with ingredients like Kahlua, vodka, and heavy cream. Drinking one White Russian is the same as eating a value meal at McDonald's at 670 calories - yikes! 

It is difficult to get a replacement for all that thick, milkshake-y goodness. However, you can replace the ingredients with healthier alternatives to get the same effect with fewer calories. Instead of heavy cream, use coconut milk. Since Kahlua is basically coffee, vodka, and sugar, just add a bit of espresso to your drink and more vodka to get the same taste.

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Keeping with the dessert drink theme, Mudslides are the fancy version of a White Russian. It is a chocolaty drink that you have to bat your kids away from because it looks like a tasty milkshake. Mudslides are made of Baileys, Kahlua, chocolate and vanilla ice cream, and heavy cream, adding up to 556 calories - the same as chowing down a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut. 

Once again, it is hard to find a suitable replacement for the delicious mudslide. But when you want to cut calories, you have to make sacrifices. Just blend coffee liqueur, vodka, low-fat chocolate milk, and ice cubes to get your new low-calorie mudslide.

Mai Tai

When you think of Mai Tai, you think of sitting on a beach while sipping on your delicious drink. Mai Tais, however, are one of the most hostile drinks for your bathing suit. This is because there are three kinds of sugary alcohol in this drink - spiced rum, coconut rum, and curacao. Mai Tais have a surprising 620 calories per nine ounce drink, comparable to Wendy's double cheeseburger. 

For a low-calorie version of this drink, stick to light rum only, and then add orange juice, lemon juice, pineapple, and almond syrup instead of grenadine.

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Frozen Concoctions

Frozen drinks come in all varieties, including margaritas, daiquiris, and pina coladas. Anything that is frozen uses a sugary pre-mixture to make the drink come to life. A margarita has 550 calories, the same as a seven layer burrito and beef chalupa from Taco Bell. The Daiquiri has 300 calories that you can also get from a piece of fried chicken at KFC. The Pina Colada has 586 calories, also found in 16 Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. 

For a margarita replacement, just mix tequila with lime and orange juice. A Daiquiri only needs pureed strawberries and rum. Pina Colada ingredients can be replaced with coconut rum, pineapple juice, and club soda.

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In general, it is a good idea to stay away from cocktails that have multiple kinds of alcohol. Going basic with just one type of alcohol and a lower calorie mixer is usually a safer choice.