Bottles in front of the Bionic Bar
Bottles at the Bionic Bar


Cruising time is relaxing time and cocktails are part of the vacation celebration. Along with drinking in moderation, it's also important to drink with your health in mind. Enter low-calorie cocktails.

Published on February 11, 2021

Cruising often means relaxing with a delicious cocktail in hand by the pool, the bar, the beach. It's part of why we love vacationing. But if you're watching your calorie intake, some cocktails can throw off your daily totals. A chocolate martini, for instance, has more calories than a fast-food grilled chicken sandwich. And one glass of eggnog has more calories than a chocolate chip cookie.

To cut your liquid calorie consumption, first, decide what type of drink you enjoy the most, then you can figure out the proper tweaks. If warm, spiked coffee drinks are your favorites, try the hot beverage with vanilla vodka and foamed milk rather than a creamy liqueur. If you prefer sweet, flavored drinks, then asking the bartender to use a little less syrup can cut the calories in your glass by half — or more. Try to avoid sugary, flavored mixers at all costs, though, since your calorie intake will shoot up exponentially. Ask for natural juices or fruits to be added instead. If you're a fan of strong, clear spirits, a spritz of tonic plus a lime or a cherry will give your drink a flavor kick without the sugar rush. Purchase a drink package before your cruise and enjoy unlimited drinks and drink options all cruise long.

Also, consider having a bite to eat before drinking. Eating a nice dinner will slow down absorption of alcohol, and make you less likely to crave calories in liquid form.

Ready for a delicious drink? Here are the five best vacation cocktails to enjoy on your cruise or at any destination. Sip in moderation, guilt-free. (*Calorie counts are approximate.)


The Cuban mojito is a delicious and refreshing cocktail enjoyed by many around the world. For rum lovers, it represents the perfect drink. Its origins can be traced back to 16th-century Cuba, when a popular drink known as El Draque incorporated similar ingredients. After Cuba's success in producing rum, the mojito became the national drink and as common as beer on the island. Now mojitos can be found in bars everywhere and people enjoy the zesty flavors that made this tropical drink famous so long ago. The ingredients are simple, but there's a special way to blend them for an authentic taste. Your bartender will know how to do it, so pay attention when the concoction is being prepared. You'll see that yerba buena (or mint) and cane sugar will be placed inside the glass first and the bartender will mix them together to extract the flavors of the herb. Then rum and lime are added and the liquid is mixed once again. A slice of lime will slide into the glass, and voila, your 150-calorie mojito is ready.


The martini. Just the name evokes images of sophistication and simplicity. The image of a tall, elegant glass, with clear liquid adorned only by an olive is very cinematic. The origin of this cocktail is not really known, but experts trace it back to the early 1860s when it was thought to be served at the Occidental Hotel's bar in San Francisco, California. Today, there are many iterations of the drink: Hawaiian martini, French martini, Starburst martini... and then there's the pomegranate martini. A low-calorie version with exquisite flavors, pomegranate juice, tart lime, orange and vodka are the only ingredients and the blending process is super simple. It's a winning combo with only 111 calories, for carefree sipping.


Although vodka and tonic is more popular, those looking for a tasty kick will enjoy this version just as much. Tequila is made from the blue agave plant from the city of Tequila near Guadalajara, Mexico. It was first produced in the 16th century and inspired by a pre-Columbian fermented drink known as pulque. Today, tequila is celebrated as the drink of Mexico and a favorite for margaritas. For a low-calorie version, a tequila with tonic water is just the ticket. Tequila blends well with a tonic that contains more quinine for a nice sparkly flavor. The result is clean and refreshing. Or try mezcal instead, if it's available, and blend it with tonic as well.


The classic rum and Coke is also called Cuba Libre and was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway when he lived on the island. It's said that he spent a great deal of his time drinking Cuba Libres in La Bodeguita del Medio, his favorite bar. The cocktail is incredibly simple to make, with just the two ingredients. For a low-calorie version, just ask your bartender to use Diet Coke instead of regular. You can add a lime wedge for extra flavor. One of the best things about this drink is that it can be made by anyone, anywhere. What bar doesn't have rum or Coke?


It is said that the first sparkling champagne was invented in the 17th century, by accident. The fermentation that took place was caused by the climate in the Champagne area of France, where winemakers were trying to create wines to compete with Burgundy. When they realized the cold climate would not allow them to create regular wine, they figured out a way to create stronger bottles and sell the sparkling Champagne instead. The King of France loved it, as did the Duke of Orleans. Champagne had arrived. Today, it is the favorite cocktail to use for special occasions, seen as an elegant option with a sublime taste. It is also great for those looking to lower their calorie intake with just 90 calories per glass.

Relaxing and trying new things don't have to wait for your next planned vacation. Try one of these concoctions on a three-day cruise to the Bahamas to make the most of your next long weekend.


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