Swap margarita for a Moscow Mule: Slimmer’s guide to cocktails for July 4th

Champagne is a healthier alternative to sweet wine. It has 90 calories

It’s July 4th, and for many that means a four-day extravaganza, with cook-outs, firework parties, and staying up later than you normally would on a school night.  

But the day-time cocktails and sunny beers can take their toll on your energy, skin and waistline by the end of the long weekend.  

You may be actively watching your waistline on the cusp of summer, or simply want to be aware of your drinks’ contents. 

Should you go with the chilled rose or frozen margs? Or would a glass of bubbly do the trick? 

To answer those questions, here is your go-to cocktail guide from nutritionists at MuscleFood.com, based on the US National Library of Medicine’s calorie counter.  


Rose is sweet and summery, and loaded with sugar, with around 130 calories per glass

Champagne is a healthier alternative to sweet white wine, which comes with an 130 calories per serving. A glass of bubbly only has 90 calories 

Although one glass may seem innocent, each serving of rose wine is around 130 calories, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This is almost equivalent to a glazed chocolate doughnut.

Champagne is a lower-calorie choice, at 90, which means two glasses of bubbly equals one glass of sugary wine.

Plus, recent research from Brown University found that drinking five or more glasses of white wine a week increases the risk of developing the skin condition rosacea by 49 percent.

Even one to three glasses a month raises the risk by 14 percent.

It is unclear exactly why white wine causes rosacea, but it may due to the drink weakening the immune system and causing blood vessels to dilate.


A Cosmopolitan has 146 calories

Long Island Iced Teas are the worst drinks to have on a night out, anywhere from 420 to 780 calories

Long Island Iced Teas are the worst drinks to have on a night out, anywhere from 420 to 780 calories. A Cosmopolitan has 146 calories per 2.75 ounces 

A Long Island Iced Tea is the worst drink to have on a night out. 

Depending on the bartender, they can contain splashes of vodka, rum, tequila, gin, triple sec, sweet and sour mix, and coke. 

All the alcohol and mixtures packs a heavy punch, depending on who makes the drink anywhere from 420 to 780 calories – more than a McDonald’s cheeseburger at 310 calories.

Still looking for a strong drink with some sweetness? 

A Cosmopolitan should do the trick, coming with vodka and a splash of cranberry at 146 calories per 2.75 ounces. 

3. Drink a PROTEIN BEER not a LAGER  

For beer drinkers, many fear the dreaded beer belly. It’s hard to avoid: lagers have 150-200 calories per pint.  

Darren Beale, from MuscleFood.com, said: ‘There are many dieters who will still want to enjoy a few drinks without having to worry about overstepping their daily intake, and luckily there are alternatives which mean they can.’ 

Newer to the market are protein beers, which average at 92 calories. 

It boasts of having as much protein as a savory steak and has an alcohol level content of 3.2 percent. 


Champagne –  90 calories 

Cosmopolitan – 146 calories 

Protein beer – 92 calories

Fuzzy Navel – 253 calories 

Moscow Mule – 138 calories 

Martini – 160 calories 

Slimline gin and tonic – 115 calories 

Diet Coke and rum – 100 calories

Skinny B***h – 106 calories 

Source: U.S. National Library of Medicine 


Sweet white wine –  130 calories

Long Island Iced Tea –  400+ calories

Lager – 150-200 calories 

Pina Colada – 526 calories

Margarita – 168 calories

Mojito – 220 calories

Gin and tonic – 200 calories 

Alcopop – 230 calories 

Vodka and tonic – 200 calories

Note: Each drink is based on their typical serving sizes   


Choose a Fuzzy Navel (pictured) over a Piña Colada

The peach schnapps cocktail is 253 calories while the coconut and pineapple drink (pictured) is 526

Choose a Fuzzy Navel over a Piña Colada. The peach schnapps cocktail is 253 calories while the coconut and pineapple drink is 526

While on vacation it’s easy to get swept up with the tropical feel and indulge in sugary and fruity drinks.

Instead of a Piña Colada at 526 calories, order a Fuzzy Navel which contains peach schnapps and orange juice at 253 calories.

In general, fruity drinks are more likely to have a higher calorie count because of all the fruity add-ins.

For the healthiest tropical drink, opt for cocktails that are made fresh.  


Although tonic water is often seen as a healthy alternative to fizzy mixes, tonic water still isn’t calorie-free. 

A gin and tonic contains around 200 calories, with the tonic water making up a good of those calories.

Gin and diet tonic water, such as Slimline, contains just 115 calories. 

6. Drink a MARTINI not a MOJITO   

A Martini is just 160 calories

Mojitos are sweetened with sugar syrup, bringing the calorie count to 220

Mojitos are sweetened with sugar syrup, bringing the calorie count to 220. A Martini, on the other hand, is just 160 calories  per two 1/2 ounces 

Although a fresh and minty drink sounds lovely in the summer heat, Mojitos are sweetened with sugar syrup, bringing the calorie count to 220.

A chilled Martini is the smarter option, with an extremely low calorie count of 160 per two 1/2 ounces. 

Plus, it comes with a salty snack dunked in.  

7. Drink a RUM AND DIET COKE not an ALCOPOP 

Leave the Smirnoff Ice in the cooler. Added sugars make these alcopops have 230 plus calories.

The smarter option is a Diet Coke and rum, with only 100 calories. It has the same level of sweetness and your scale will thank you later.

8. Drink a MOSCOW MULE not a MARGARITA   

Moscow Mules have 138 calories

Margaritas are usually 168 calories

Both of these drinks come in fun glasses, but one is much nicer to the waistline. Moscow Mules have 138 calories and Margaritas are usually 168 calories 

The sweet and salty Mexican tequila cocktail is one of America’s festive drinks of choice once the sun is out.  

But if you’re watching your waist, you’re better off with the Russian-inspired American classic: the Moscow Mule, invented in a Los Angeles British pub in 1941.

Margaritas come with salted rims, premixed simple syrup and lime, adding 168 calories to your diet each drink.

Moscow Mules, ginger beer mixed with vodka, is the healthier route.

They usually come in trendy cooper cups and only have 138 calories, according to Eat This, Not That. 

9. Drink a SKINNY B***H not a VODKA TONIC   

This diet-conscious option is bland but effective. The Skinny B***h is simply vodka, soda water and lime, just at 106 calories. 

This is a better alternative than choosing tonic with vodka, because of the 200 calorie count. 

  • This is an updated version of an article originally published in 2017

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