10 Low-Kilojoule Cocktails Worth Sipping On This Summer
By Julia Scirrotto; Photograph by Helena Yankovsk/Unsplash
Hello, happy hour!
Even the fastest and fittest like to let their hair down (and so do we!), but we might as well get some nutrients out of our cocktails, right?
1 Beat-The-Bloat Zinger
Serves 2 | 523kJ | 12g sugar | 0.2g sat fat | 3g protein
– 5cm ginger
– 4 beetroot
– 50ml vodka or gin
Splash soda water Rosemary sprigs, to garnish. Peel the ginger, then juice with the beetroot. Pour into a shaker with vodka or gin (not both) and shake well. Pour over ice, add a splash of soda and garnish.
HEALTH BOOST: Big up the beet – the plant pigment betacyanin, which gives the veg its rich colour, has been found to ward off cancer. Beetroot also stimulates the liver’s detoxifying function, making it the ultimate damage-minimising
mixer for a boozy blend.
2 Kickstarter Kiwi Margarita
Serves 2 | 1 860kJ | 52g sugar | 0g sat fat | 7g protein
– 1 lime
– 12 kiwis, peeled
– 50ml tequila
– 2 tsp Himalayan sea salt
– 2 tsp coconut sugar
– Pinch cayenne pepper
– 30ml organic rice syrup
Juice the lime and kiwis; blend with tequila and ice. In a saucer, mix the salt, coconut sugar and cayenne; set aside. Put the syrup into a second saucer. Dip the glass rims in the syrup, then the salt concoction. Pour in the cocktail and serve.
HEALTH BOOST: With 12 kiwis, this is only three short of a rugby team. Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium, the kiwi is the rugged forward of fruits, tackling the fat in your blood and kicking sleep problems into touch. #NotAllBlack
3 I’m-Sweet-Enough Vodka Sour
Serves 2 | 694kJ | 11g sugar | 0g sat fat | 5g protein
– 5cm ginger
– 70ml vodka
– 20ml organic rice syrup 20ml lemon juice
– 2 egg whites
– Pinch cinnamon
Peel and juice the ginger, then add to a cocktail shaker along with the vodka, rice syrup, lemon juice and egg whites. Mix first without ice, then add ice and shake. Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
HEALTH BOOST: Put the sweet in this sour with rice syrup – a fructose- free alternative to the traditional cocktail syrup. Like the rice it’s made from, the syrup contains energy- enhancing B vitamins. Get organic rice syrup at Faithful-To-Nature.co.za
4 Cool-As-A-Cucumber Skin Spritz
Serves 2 | 330kJ | 3g sugar | 0.1g sat fat | 1g protein
– 1-2 cucumbers
– 50ml gin
– 50ml sparkling water Handful mint and cucumber slices, to garnish
First, rate your yearning for cucumber on a scale of one to 10. Below five, stick with one fruit; five or more, double up. Throw into a juicer. Stir with gin and sparkling water, then pour into highballs and garnish with mint and cucumber. For a mocktail that rocks, swap gin for watermelon juice. HEALTH BOOST: Glugging your cucumber is just as good for your skin as donning two slices monocle-style – its inflammation-busting antioxidants soothe puffiness. The fruit is also rich in elasticity-boosting silica. Bottoms up!
5 Super-Skinny pear Sipper
Serves 2 | 711kJ | 9g sugar | 0.1g sat fat | 1g protein
– 2 pears, peeled
– 2 tbsp cinnamon 50ml spiced rum Pinch nutmeg
– Pear slices, to serve
Toss the pears into a juicer, then mix the juice with the cinnamon in a shallow pan and warm gently over a low heat. Stir in the spiced rum and serve in glasses garnished with nutmeg and pear slices. For a teetotal take, swap the rum for a (cold) tea – go for herbal lemon verbena or a decaf chai.
HEALTH BOOST: To keep your diet from going pear- shaped, load up on, well, pears. A Brazilian study found those who ate them daily consumed fewer overall kilojoules thanks to satiety-boosting fibre.
6 Hail Mary, My Skin’s Amazing
Serves 2 | 430kJ | 5g sugar | 0.3g sat fat | 2g protein
– 4 tomatoes
– 1⁄2 beetroot
– 1⁄2 cucumber
– 1⁄4 lemon
– Pinch ground cayenne pepper 50ml vodka
– Celery sticks and cherry tomatoes, to garnish
Juice the tomatoes, beetroot, cucumber and lemon, then add a pinch of cayenne. Mix in a shaker with vodka and ice, and showcase your third- base wrist action. Serve in highballs with celery and a cherry tomato, then knock ’em back!
HEALTH BOOST: Deadlines doing your face no favours? Lycopene, found in tomatoes, can boost levels of procollagen to help keep your skin elastic and youthful. Sip those eye bags away.
7 Mean Green Power Daiquiri
Serves 2 | 330kJ | 3g sugar | 0.1g sat fat | 1g protein
– 1⁄4 lime, plus wedges to serve 15g baby spinach
– 30ml organic rice syrup 50ml light rum
Pre-party prep: cut the banana into six pieces and freeze. Juice the lime and add to a blender with the banana. Juice the spinach and whizz with the rice syrup, then the rum and serve with lime wedges.
HEALTH BOOST: This packs a potassium one- two punch, thanks to the bananas and spinach.
A trial of cyclists found that the humble banana powered them through intensive exercise as effectively as a sports drink. It’s recovery fuel and a party-starter.
8 Berry Powerfull Basil-Ini
Serves 2 | 476kJ | 9g sugar | 0.3g sat fat | 1g protein
– 50g fresh basil, finely chopped (plus extra, to serve)
– 400g strawberries
– 200ml sparkling white wine
Purée the basil and strawberries. Divide between two Champagne flutes, top up with sparkling wine and decorate with extra basil. For a mocktail variation, swap the bubbly for sparkling water or cucumber juice.
HEALTH BOOST: Studies have shown basil to be antifungal and antibacterial, bolstering your immunity as you rack up countless bar tabs on the party circuit. And strawberries can reduce the risk of heart disease in women by 32 percent if consumed three times a week. Cheers!
9 Spirit-Raising Mocha Martini
Serves 2 | 665kJ | 13g sugar | 1.1g sat fat | 4g protein
– 120ml (4 shots) decaffeinated espresso 30ml organic rice syrup 4 tsp raw cacao powder 70ml vodka
Brew four shots of decaf espresso and leave to cool. Meanwhile, create a paste by mixing rice syrup and raw cacao powder. Combine everything with ice cubes and shake. We said shake, not stir. Pour from a height into two Martini glasses. Dust with cacao powder to serve.
HEALTH BOOST: Being caffeine-free, the buzz in this Martini comes from its theobromine, a compound in raw cacao that triggers mood- lifting “happy hormone” serotonin. It gets better: polyphenols in coffee (even decaf) sharpen cognitive function!
10 Forever Young Piña Colada
Serves 2 | 1 346kJ | 45g sugar | 6g sat fat | 3g protein
– 1 pineapple, chopped
– 2 tbsp coconut oil
– 50ml golden rum
– 32 ice cubes
– Pinch unsweetened desiccated coconut Pineapple wedges to serve
Freeze half your pineapple in advance. Come cocktail hour, juice the fresh pieces, then blitz in a blender with the frozen chunks and coconut oil. Add the rum and ice and blend for 30 seconds. Serve with a sprinkle of coconut and a pineapple wedge.
HEALTH BOOST: Coconut oil’s lauric acid wards off infections and boosts collagen for healthy skin.
Looking for more on drinks? Follow these post-party beauty tips if had a big night out (but still need to look fresh AF the next day).