For many of us, spring break includes warm weather, dance music and cold drinks. If you fall into the last category and you’re an of-age collegiette who has spent some time getting to know the bar scene around campus, you’re probably well aware of the hit-or-miss nature of cocktails. Some bartenders serve drinks that taste like 200-proof water, while others create concoctions that make one think of Prohibition era moonshine. And since a high proof equals a high calorie content, it can be difficult to know which drinks should get the green light more often than others. To simplify things, Her Campus has tallied up the 20 drinks that consistently make nutritionists cry foul and the ones that get a little less flack.
10 Highest-Calorie Drinks
1. Long Island Iced Tea
Serving Size: ~ 7 oz..
Calories: up to 780
Ingredients: 1 part rum, 1 part gin, 1 part triple sec, 1.5 parts sweet and sour mix, splash of coke
If you’ve never tried a Long Island Iced Tea before, let’s get one thing straight: there is no actual tea in this. Absolutely none. Long Islands seem like a good idea for anyone who wants one drink to last them for a long while. What’s more, with up to 780 calories per glass, it’s kind of like you’re ordering a meal, too! But by no means should you skip dinner if you’re enticed by this cocktail. Long Island Iced Teas typically contain about three shots of alcohol, so make sure to have a nice dinner with your friends before going out.
Serving Size: ~ 8.5 oz.
Calories: up to 740
Ingredients: 4 oz. limeade (usually premixed), 4 oz. tequila, .5 oz. triple sec
If you’ve ever been to a Dallas BBQ or Blockheads, you already know that Margaritas and their cousin, the Daiquiri, pack a punch (Texas style, anyone?). Like the other high-calorie drinks on our list, Margaritas vary greatly by size and content.
3. Piña Colada
Serving size: 6 oz.
Calories: up to 644
Ingredients: 3 oz. light rum, 3 tbsp. coconut milk, 3 tbsp. crushed pineapples
“I can’t wait to order a delicious Piña Colada,” says HC contributing writer and Syracuse student, Heather Rinder—and we totally understand why. This fruity, frothy drink is perfect for poolside chilling. While some serving sizes include as many as 644 calories in just one colada, it’s well worth the splurge when you’re on break. “I definitely enjoy my Piña Coladas,” says HC campus correspondent, Omairys Rodriguez. “They just aren’t the same in the winter!”
4. Mai Tai
Serving size: 9 oz.
Calories: up to 620
Ingredients: 3 oz. light rum, 2 oz. dark rum, 1 oz. crème de almond, 1 oz. triple sec, 1 oz. sweet & sour mix, 1 oz. pineapple juice
The Mai Tai packs loads of different flavors into one glass, but it also packs on the calories. This is definitely one drink that’s meant to be savored and enjoyed, rather than power-houred. Even so, HC correspondent, Nicole Del Negro, considers Mai Tais to be her favorite vacation cocktail. “They’re fun and super sugary,” says Nicole. “Mai Tais are very ‘island’ so I like ordering them when I am on Spring Break!”
Serving size: 12.5 oz.
Calories: up to 594
Ingredients: ¼ cup Irish cream, ¼ cup coffee liqueur, 1 cup vanilla ice cream, 1 tbsp chocolate syrup
This is a 21+ ice cream sundae. That is all.
6. Grasshopper Martini
Serving size: 7 oz..
Calories: up to 525
Ingredients: 6 oz. vanilla vodka, ½ oz. Godiva white chocolate liqueur, ½ oz. green crème de menthe
If you ever thought you overdid it with Girl Scout Thin Mints, you’ve probably never met this drink. The Grasshopper Martini is a white-chocolate flavored Thin Mint blended with vodka. If that sounds good to you (and you don’t mind the rather hefty calorie count), then proceed by all means!
Serving size: 6 oz.
Calories: up to 438
Ingredients: 2 oz. vodka, 2 oz. chocolate liqueur, 2 oz. cream, ½ oz. dark crème de cacao, melted chocolate confectionary coating
The Chocolate martini, or the “Chocotini,” is the king of martini spin-offs after the Key Lime Pie Martini. With almost half the calorie content of the first drink on our list (but the same amount of deliciousness), this cocktail might be a nice compromise—even though it’s still pretty extravagant.
8. White Russian
Serving size: 5 oz.
Calories: up to 425
Ingredients: 2 oz. vodka, 1.5 oz. coffee liqueur, 1.5 heavy cream
The main character in the Coen brothers’ movie, The Big Lebowski, is a huge slacker—probably because he can’t tear himself away from this cocktail. Drinking a White Russian is like drinking an ice cold glass of very, very whole milk. Which is just like Mom used to make it, right?
9. Brandy eggnog on the rocks
Serving size: 7 oz.
Calories: up to 422
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. brandy, ¼ oz. sugar syrup, ¼ oz. tawny port, 3.5 oz. milk, ¾ oz. cream, 1 egg yolk, ice cubes, nutmeg
To the uninitiated, eggnog is strictly a seasonal drink that’s only good as long as the holiday cups at Starbucks last. But actually, eggnog is also served when the temperature rises—think of it as a boozy milkshake that contains just as much dairy and more cream.
10. Key Lime Pie Martini
Serving size: ~5 oz..
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. key lime liqueur, 1.5 oz. Absolut vanilla vodka, .3 oz. lime juice, .3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, 1½ oz. half-and-half
This drink presents the perfect opportunity to eat your dessert and have your cocktail too. Line the rim of your glass with graham cracker crumbs, and you’ll find yourself in key lime pie heaven. Just don’t try to count it as a serving of fruit.
10 Lowest-Calorie Drinks
1. Rum & Diet Coke
Serving size: 6 oz.
Ingredients: 1 oz. rum, 5 oz. Diet Coke
This may seem too good to be true, and to some degree, it is. Even the stingiest bartender will probably give you more than one fluid oz.. of alcohol, since just one shot is 1.5 oz... But if you feel like taking it easy and enjoying the springtime weather without going in too hard, this mix should work for you.
2. Anheuser Busch, Natural Light
Serving size: 12 oz.
We bet you had no idea that all the time you spent practicing your Beirut technique, you were actually being health-conscious—good for you! One 12 oz.. serving of Natty Light contains just 95 calories, while the same serving of Bud Light contains 112 calories. The difference is pretty negligible so feel free to go for whichever beer you like more. You’ll burn it all off playing Flip Cup, anyway.
3. Shot of Jose Cuervo
Serving size: 1.5 oz.
Regardless of your tequila brand of choice, one shot of this drink will usually run you 100 calories. These shots may not come with cute little umbrellas or taste like dessert, but it is nice to know exactly what you’re getting.
4. Mike’s Light Hard Lemonade
Serving size: 11.2 oz.
Calories: 98 calories
The light option of Mike’s Hard Lemonade has less than half the calories of the original beverage, which goes up to 220 calories. There’s also a cranberry version of Mike’s Light Hard if you want to switch things up a little.
5. Gin & Diet Tonic
Serving size: 7.5 oz.
Calories: 115 calories
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. gin, 6 oz. Diet Tonic
Like any beverage containing extra sugars, this simple and straightforward drink can be brought down a notch by picking a diet option, rather than the standard one. Gin and tonics have a slightly bitter taste, but it’s nothing a wedge of lime can’t cure.
Serving size: 3 oz.
Ingredients: 1.5 oz. vodka, ½ oz. triple sec, ½ oz. lime juice, ½ oz. cranberry juice
Cosmos are excellent low-calorie cocktail options. While they vary in size and alcohol content (a 4 oz. Cosmo might go up to 200 calories, while another with 5 fluid oz. could go up to 320), these drinks generally stay in the range of drinks that aren’t too bad for you. (And might even make you look pretty classy.)
7. Apple Martini
Serving size: 3 oz.
Calories: 148 calories
Ingredients: 1 oz. each of vodka, sour apple and apple juice
This is another option that is popular with those of us who want to feel like we’re part of the “Sex and the City” set. If you’re going glam any time during spring break, this apple-green drink is just for you.
Serving size: 6 oz.
Content: 160 calories
Ingredients: 2.5 oz. light rum, club soda, 1 tsp. limejuice, 2 tsp. sugar, fresh mint sprigs
Why even bother going out when you can make one of these with your friends, pop in Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and watch Diego Luna for a couple of hours? Sounds like an amazing night to me!
9. Bloody Mary
Serving size: 10 oz.
Calories: up to 180
Ingredients: 2 oz. vodka, 8 oz. tomato juice, dash of Tabasco sauce and black pepper
Bloody Marys are roughly equivalent to the original tomato juice, V8, plus alcohol. Not only are they chock-full of tomatoes, but according to HC branch manager and Emerson student, Nikki Fig, “[since] they’re light and somewhat healthy, I don’t feel bloated in my bikini. I’m not a big drinker so I can make a virgin one and still feel like I’m a part of the fun!”
Serving size: 6.2 oz. (if using an 8.4 oz. can of Red Bull)
Ingredients: ½ can Red Bull, 2 oz. Jägermeister
Bar and club hoppers are sometimes warned against (or completely prohibited from) ordering Jägerbombs because of the mix of caffeine and alcohol. The presence of this drink in American and/or Irish bars in Europe, and on quality shows like “Jersey Shore” already made it difficult to resist; but now that it’s made Her Campus’s list of 10 lowest-calorie drinks, you’ll have your work cut out for you. Good luck and Godspeed.
In case none of the previous drinks pique your interest, here are some other Her Campus favorites:
- “I’m a huge Tom Collins fan! Not your typical drink order, I know, but it tastes just like Sprite!” – Alexa Johnson, HC James Madison University
- “Blue Lagoon and Sex on the Beach!” – Meagan Templeton-Lynch, HC contributing writer, Colorado State
- “Vodka and club soda all the way. Unlike beer, this won’t make you bloated if you’re in a swim suit!” – Colette Maddock, HC University of Montana
- “When I was in Cancun, my friends and I loved getting Electric Lemonades—lemonade slushies with rum. They’re so good, especially when you have been out on the beach all day!” – Ericha Forest, HC branch manager, James Madison University
- “My go-to drink at all times of the year is Captain Morgan’s with Diet Coke and an orange wedge. Something about that orange really just takes it to the next level…and it’s a great drink for spring break, too.” – Joanna Buffum, HC Co-President, Bowdoin
- “White sangria is always my favorite! Someone has a different way of making it everywhere you go, so you never get the same kind. It’s a light, sweet, fun drink that is always delicious.” – Krista Evans, HC Simmons Co-Founder