- Associated Press - Thursday, May 3, 2012

It’s easy to love a great cocktail. Until you look at the numbers.

Some margaritas, for example, can pack upward of 1,000 calories. That’s an awful lot of empty calories for something that truly is just a minute on the lips. So looking forward to Cinco de Mayo, we decided to give healthy makeovers to some suitable refreshments.

The key to preventing cocktails from becoming calorie bombs is to take care when selecting the base for the drink. Juices (even unsweetened ones), sodas, anything with a syrup in it, and most liqueurs all pack tons of sugar.

The best option for a satisfying light drink is to start with seltzer water or still water. (Be aware that club soda is not the same thing. While club soda doesn’t have calories, it does have sodium.) Once you have a clean water base, you can start adding flavorings to it.

We’ve created three cocktails worthy of your Cinco de Mayo celebration that won’t necessitate a half-marathon to burn off the calories.

A Cucumber Cooler is a cocktail worthy of a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Try serving the tequila drink in a tall glass with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge. (Associated Press)
A Cucumber Cooler is a cocktail worthy of a Cinco de Mayo ... more >

We use real fruit, distilled spirits and a touch of agave nectar to keep things fresh and light. If you like, add a touch of salt around the rim of your glass for a classic margarita feel. Do this by running a lime wedge around the rim, then overturning the glass and dipping it in a plate of coarse salt.

SPARKLING RASPBERRY MARGARITA

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 1

½ orange, cut into pieces

1 lime, cut into pieces

¼ cup fresh raspberries

1 teaspoon agave nectar

1 ounce silver or white tequila

Seltzer water

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