Z' Tejas Veev Spa Cooler

Liquid Diet: 12 Skinny Cocktails

Summer is the obvious time when people think about losing weight, cutting calories and finally getting that bikini bod. (So shallow you are.) But just because sweater weather has officially arrived doesn’t mean you still couldn’t trim off a few calories here and there. And because not drinking is not an option, more places around Los Angeles and Orange County are offering skinny cocktails. (Note: I hate artificial ingredients and would never knowingly recommend anything with them, so I’ve been assured these drinks don’t use them.)  Here are 12 cocktails that will help you live it up while keeping your calorie count down.

Koi's Citrus Slim-TiniCitrus Slim-Tini @ Koi, West Hollywood
I’m not much of a drinker, but my friends are. And we all can agree that the skinny cocktails at Koi are just as good as any drink with twice the calories. The refreshing Citrus Slim-Tini (my favorite) is made with Junmai sake, Tavlon Tea’s blood orange hibiscus, agave nectar and a piece of fresh ginger. There’s also Pom Springs, a martini made with vodka, pomegranate juice, agave and soda water. Both drinks have only 145 calories. Price: $12 www.koirestaurant.com

Seasons 52's Skinny ChocolatiniRaspberry Chocolatini @ Seasons 52, Costa Mesa
This restaurant at South Coast Plaza is all about natural, organic-whenever-possible dishes that are always 500 calories or less. So it makes sense that they also have low-cal cocktails. Try the Skinny Raspberry Chocolatini, a decadent mixture of Voli Light Raspberry Cocoa Vodka and Zico chocolate coconut water and organic agave nectar. At 160 calories, it’s like a  guilt-free dessert in a glass. Price: $11.75 www.seasons52.com

Casa Vega's Skinny MargaritaSkinny Margarita @ Casa Vega, Sherman Oaks
It’s always cinco de drinko at this Sherman Oaks haunt where you can get the Skinny Margarita all day every day. A mix of fresh squeezed lime juice, organic agave nectar, spring water and Partida Reposado tequila, this skinny little lady tastes even better during the twice-a-day happy hour (2:30pm-7pm and 10:30pm-2am) when it’s 20% off. Price: $9.95 www.casavega.com

Buddha's Kiss @ Starfish LoungeBuddha’s Kiss @ Starfish Lounge, Laguna Beach
Grab a seat and have a drink at the horseshoe-shaped bar at this new hangout for Asian coastal cuisine and muddled cocktails flavored with fresh ingredients like hibiscus, gogi blossoms, lemongrass and passion fruit. To keep the calories on the lower side, do the Buddha’s Kiss, a blend of Veev, sake and house-made papaya puree that’s shaken and served in a chili-salted martini glass. A spicy-sweet taste of nirvana. Price: $12 www.starfishlaguna.com

Locando Del Lago's White Grape MartiniWhite Grape Martini @ Locando Del Lago, Santa Monica
Pretend you’re George Clooney (or his flavor of the month) lounging around Lake Como at this Promenade institution that serves cuisine straight from that Northern Italian region. Sip on a White Grape Martini made with vodka, white grapes from the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market, St. Germain elderflower liqueur and White Meritage wine. It’s pricey, low cal and tasty. Just like Clooney. Price: $14 www.lagosantamonica.com

Morton's SpatinisSpaTinis @ Morton’s, Santa Ana & Anaheim
Save the calories for the steak. Morton’s in OC just launched a new menu of Spa-Tinis, five skinny cocktails that use fresh natural ingredients and contain less than 200 calories each. There’s the fruity Antioxidant Me and minty Lean & Green, but the one that really gets me is Red Velvet, made with Lindemans Framboise Lambic (delish!), prosecco, Chambord and raspberry foam cap. Price: $14 www.mortons.com

Yard House's Juniper FusionJuniper Fusion @ Yard House
This chain is known for its huge draft beer selection (100 to 250 taps depending on location) but who wants a beer belly? Yard House just launched a Fresh & Skinny cocktail menu that has a 115-176 calorie range and uses a house-made citrus agave blend. Some of the options: Lite Lemon Drop, Pure Cosmo and Juniper Fusion featuring Hendrick’s Gin, fresh strawberries, cucumbers and orange bitters. Price: $8.95-$10.25 www.yardhouse.com

Ozumo's Green Ty-TeaniTy-Teani @ Ozumu, Santa Monica
For a fruity splash in a glass, check out this Japanese restaurant on the third floor dining deck of Santa Monica Place. There’s the Harujuku–made with Ty Ku citrus liqueur, Ty Ku soju, grapefruit juice, soda water, an optional splash of simple syrup–and the Ty-Teani, a mix of Ty Ku soju, green iced tea (made with powdered macha) and a splash of passion fruit puree. Price: $12 www.ozumo.com

Fat Dog's Rockin' HoundRockin’ Hound @ Fat Dog, Los Angeles
There’s nothing like enjoying a cool (and low-cal) cocktail with your best four-legged friend in tow–and Fat Dog, a new dog-friendly gastropub on Fairfax, is just the place to do it. Try the Rockin’ Hound, which uses Rock sake, Effen cucumber vodka, simple syrup and fresh lime, or the Sommar Drink using Baccardi Limon, soda water and fresh lime. They’re light and refreshing yet do the trick. Price: $11 www.thefatdogla.com

SOL's Organic Skinny MargaritaSlim Margarita @ Sol Cocina, Newport Beach
Skinny but not skimpy. That about describes the Organic Slim Margarita at this Mexican restaurant located along the Balboa Marina. Made with Casa Noble organic blanco tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and a splash of soda, the drink–like all the specialty cocktails here—focuses on fresh fruits and juices and uses the restaurant’s own sweet & sour that’s made in-house daily. Price: $10.50 www.solcocina.com

Cafe Del Rey's Rosemary Cooler - Photo by Sara AltshulRosemary Cooler @ Cafe Del Rey, Marina Del Rey
You’ll feel like you’re at the spa when you order the Rosemary Cooler at this waterfront hangout. Although you can get it regular, order the skinny version that uses agave syrup instead of simple syrup, El Jimador tequila, rosemary, agave syrup and soda water. And if you’re feeling really green, try Sage Jealousy made with Hendrick’s Gin, Chartreuse, grapefruit juice, sage and cucumber. Price: $14 www.cafedelreymarina.com

Z' Tejas Veev Spa CoolerVeev Spa Cooler @ Z’Tejas, Costa Mesa
This Tex-Mex chain has a list of skinny cocktails that contain fewer than 250 calories each and are naturally sweetened with agave and fresh fruits. The one catching my eye: Veev Spa Cooler made with Veev acai spirit, fresh lime juice, cucumbers and mint. And if you happen to not be a drinker (there must be at least one of you out there), there’s plenty of non-alcoholic skinny drinks like the Hibiscus Zinger, Mango Mint, Berry Colada, and Sun Wildberry lemonade. Price: $8 www.ztejas.com

There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Patti P at 3:13 pm

    I have tried a few skinny margaritas and they are just as good as the regular ones. Flemings also has good skinny cocktails on their menu.

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