Low-Calorie Cocktails

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Always prepare your cocktail in a tall highball glass with lots and lots of ice, then slowly sip and savor. A salt-encrusted rim on a non-sweet drink promotes additional flavor. Rub the rim with lime juice before you dip it in salt. Steer clear of oversized drinks, ordering doubles and thoughtless refills, and these cocktail alternatives and drink suggestions will help you enjoy a party without inconvenient, fat-laden consequences.

The Cape Codder: An 8-ounce glass of this classic vodka and cranberry drink (a shot of vodka, lots of ice, and the glass filled with cranberry juice) contains about 165 calories. Cranberry juice promotes urinary tract well-being, helps flush alcohol and encourages the body to burn, rather than store, fat.

Sour Apple Martini: This tart cocktail -- 2.5 oz sour mix and 3/4 oz each of vodka and sour apple liqueur -- produces a martini with no more than 160 calories to be served over rocks and savored.

Maggie McQuade: An innovative and interesting mix of a shot of vanilla vodka and diet ginger ale, served over ice.

Mojito: This trendy drink includes 1.5 oz rum, .5 oz lime juice, 2 tsp sugar, crushed ice and mint - and will set you back only about 135 calories. Artificial sweetener can be substituted for sugar to save additional calories. When this mixture is mashed into a mush with the back of a wooden spoon, it is much like the original mojito, but you still save calories when it's poured over ice cubes and served in a tall glass.