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3 Fruity Low-Calorie Summer Cocktails

By KERI GLASSMAN

Summer is in full swing, which means you've probably enjoyed an iced beverage or cocktail once or twice already. The good news is that cocktails don't have to be bikini-busters. Lemons and limes often get most of the attention when it comes to recipes for healthy and slimming drinks, but I'll give you the skinny on other fruits that can lighten up your liquor. It's time for grapefruit, raspberries and pomegranates to step into the spotlight! Read on to see how these summertime fruits can spruce up your favorite classic drinks.

Mojito

Grapefruit-Mint Mojito
Prep time:
5 minutes
Serves: 1
Yields: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS
*10 fresh mint leaves
* ½ cup crushed ice
* ½ cup sliced grapefruit
* 1 ounce light rum
* Splash of club soda

DIRECTIONS
1. Layer the bottom of a pint glass with mint
2. Cover mint with crushed ice
3. Muddle the mint and ice together with a spoon to release flavor
4. Add grapefruit and mix in with ice
5. Pour rum over the fruity slush
6. Top off the mixture with club soda
7. Garnish with a bright slice of ruby-red grapefruit

Why I love this recipe:
Mojitos are one of my favorite drinks. This grapefruit-mint version is no exception. The classic cocktail often gets a bad reputation for being high in calories, which is largely due to the sugar content. The key to keeping this drink delicious (and low in sugar) is all in the muddle. Be sure to grind up the mint to extract lots of flavor. This grapefruit variation bursts with fruitiness and packs a bonus antioxidant punch!

Raspberry-Peach-Strawberry Sangria
Prep time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1
Yields: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS
* 5 ounces red wine
* ¼ cup raspberries
* ¼ cup sliced peaches
* ¼ cup sliced strawberries
* Splash of club soda

DIRECTIONS
1. Pour wine into a glass
2. Add raspberries, peaches and strawberries
3. Top with club soda for a refreshing pop of bubbles

Why I love this recipe:
Red wine is known for containing the antioxidant resveratrol. This compound can help raise HDL, or good cholesterol. Plus, you get all the extra vitamins and minerals from the fruit. Raspberries are also high in vitamin C and fiber .

Pomegranate Fizz
Prep time:
5 minutes
Serves: 1
Yields: 1 cup

INGREDIENTS
* 3 ounces champagne
* 1 ounce club soda
* Splash of pomegranate juice
* Pomegranate seeds to garnish

DIRECTIONS
1. Combine liquids in a champagne flute
2. Garnish with pomegranate seeds

Why I love this recipe:
In my opinion, any occasion is a good reason to celebrate with champagne. Look no further than the pomegranate to spruce up a simple flute of bubbly. These little jewels may be small, but they are loaded with polyphenols, which function as antioxidants. Just as a reminder, antioxidants fight free radicals to reduce the risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and signs of aging. So let's raise a glass to good skin. Cheers!

-- Keri

Readers -- Do you enjoy cocktails? Which are your favorites? Do you have any favorite low-calorie cocktails? Will you try any of our recipes? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Keri Glassman is a contributing editor and advisory board member for Women's Health magazine and is the nutrition and health contributor for NBC's New York Live. She regularly appears on national television programs and hosts an original series called "A Little Bit Better," which is featured on YouTube's LivestrongWoman channel. Keri resides in New York City with her children, Rex and Maizy. Whether she is training for a marathon, going to the farmers market or drinking her nightly cup of herbal tea, Keri lives and breathes a nutritious life while inspiring others to do the same. See Keri on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest.

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