Summer Drink Recipes 2015

by Charles Platkin, PhD
Here are several drinks to help quench your thirst and fill your belly. Keep in mind that seltzer, unsweetened iced tea and water are real low-calorie alternatives, but in case you’re looking for a few others drinks and would like to know how much they cost in terms of calories and exercise equivalents, here you go.

Grapefruit Ginger Margarita

Recipe by Hope Cohen, author of Fast, Fresh + Simple (Strawberryblonde Press, 2013) (

1 Serving

3 ice cubes
1 1/2 fluid ounces (3 tablespoons) reposado tequila
3/4 fluid ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) ginger liqueur, such as Canton
2 fluid ounces (1/4 cup) freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice
1 fluid ounce (2 tablespoons) fresh lime juice
3 (1/4-inch) slices fresh ginger root
Grapefruit rind for garnish

Put ice in a cocktail shaker or mixing glass. Add tequila, ginger liqueur, grapefruit juice, lime juice and ginger slices, and shake well until extremely chilled. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with grapefruit rind. Serve and enjoy.

Nutrition per serving: 204 Calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 53
Bike: 29
Run: 22
Swim: 25
Yoga: 53
Dance: 35

Strawberry-Banana Protein Smoothie

Recipe by Editors at EatingWell magazine (May/June 2015) and The Eating Well Test Kitchen (

1 Serving

1 cup hulled strawberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 medium banana
1/2 cup diced mango, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon natural nut butter, such as cashew or almond
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (flaxmeal)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ice cubes or 1/2 cup water

Combine strawberries, banana, mango, yogurt, nut butter, flaxseed, vanilla and ice cubes (or water) in a blender. Puree until smooth.

Nutrition per serving: 359 Calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 93
Bike: 51
Run: 38
Swim: 44
Yoga: 122
Dance: 61

Notes: This should be drunk as a meal replacement

Healthy Green Juice

Recipe provided by, submitted by PageLeeNC

2 Servings

2 green apples, halved
4 stalks celery, leaves removed
1 cucumber
6 leaves kale
1/2 lemon, peeled
1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger

Process green apples, celery, cucumber, kale, lemon, and ginger through a juicer. [You need a juicer for this drink ]

Nutrition per serving: 143 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 37
Bike: 20
Run: 15
Swim: 17
Yoga: 49
Dance: 24


Recipe by Samantha Heller, MS, RD, author of The Only Cleanse: A 14-Day Natural Detox Plan to Jump-Start a Lifetime of Health (Countryman Press, 2015) ( www. heller

1 Serving

8 ounces sparkling wine
2 tablespoons pureed fresh or frozen strawberries

Combine sparkling wine and pureed strawberries.
You can skip the sparkling wine and add the pureed strawberries to seltzer for a delish non-alcoholic beverage as well.

Nutrition per serving: 100 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 26
Bike: 14
Run: 11
Swim: 12
Yoga: 34
Dance: 17

Raspberry Rosemary Martini (R ’n R)

Recipe from the culinary experts at Miraval Resort & Spa in Tucson, AZ

1 Serving

2 ounces Stolichnaya vodka
4-6 raspberries
Leaves from 1/2 a rosemary sprig
5 ounces Triple Sec
Lime juice
Splash of Cranberry Juice
3 raspberries or 1/2 rosemary sprig for garnish

Combine vodka, raspberries, and rosemary in a cocktail shaker. Muddle ingredients together, then add ice. Add the triple sec, lime juice, and cranberry and shake. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with 3 raspberries on a toothpick and the other half of the rosemary sprig.

258.5 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 67
Bike: 37
Run: 28
Swim: 31
Yoga: 88
Dance: 44

Frozen Mudslide

Recipe from

1 Serving

2 ounces vodka
2 ounces Kahlua coffee liqueur
2 ounces Bailey’s Irish cream
6 ounces vanilla ice cream

Blend alcohol with ice cream. Serve in a frosted glass.

810 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 209
Bike: 115
Run: 86
Swim: 99
Yoga: 277
Dance: 138

Chocolate Lover’s Martini

Recipe from

1 Serving

1 1/2 ounces vodka
1 1/2 ounces Bailey’s Irish cream
1 1/2 ounces white creme de cacao
1 tablespoon chocolate syrup

Pour all ingredients into shaker filled with ice, then pour into martini glass.

468 calories

Walk: 121
Bike: 66.5
Run: 50
Swim: 57
Yoga: 160
Dance: 80

Vodka Collins

Recipe from

1 Serving

2 ounces vodka
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 teaspoon powdered sugar
Carbonated water

Shake vodka, lemon juice and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a collins glass. Add several ice cubes, fill with carbonated water, and stir.

164 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:
Walk: 42.5
Bike: 23
Run: 17
Swim: 20
Yoga: 56
Dance: 28

Strawberry Ginger Cocktail

Healthy recipe from the chefs and mixologists of Earthbound Farm (,

4 Servings

1 1/2 cups chopped strawberries (plus 4 whole berries for garnish)
2 tablespoon extra-fine sugar
2 slices peeled fresh ginger (each about the size of a quarter) chopped
1/3 cup vodka (or more to taste)
1 1/2 cups crushed ice
12 ounces chilled ginger beer

Place the chopped strawberries, sugar, ginger, and vodka in a blender and puree until smooth, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides once or twice.

Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher. Add the ice and ginger beer to the pitcher and stir to combine. Divide the mixture among 4 pretty glasses and garnish each serving with a strawberry. Serve immediately.

Nutrition per serving: 111 calories

Exercise equivalents in minutes:

Walk: 29
Bike: 16
Run: 12
Swim: 14
Yoga: 38
Dance: 19

Tips for lightening up drinks

  • Use more and /or larger ice cubes.
  • Go easy on the sugar. Add sugar to taste, not necessarily according to the recipe.
  • Use freshly squeezed juices.
  • Use smaller glasses.
  • Try some good lower-calorie drink options: red or white wine, wine spritzers and drinks made with seltzer or club soda.
  • Steer clear of drinks that are really desserts (e.g., cream drinks).

Photo Credit:  Fast Fresh & Simple

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