How to Make Any Cocktail Recipe a Healthy One, According to a Nutritionist

In a perfect world, delicious cocktails would be calorie-free and never followed by a morning of headaches and nausea. Although an alcoholic indulgence isn't ever the healthiest option, you can find ways to include them in your lifestyle without sacrificing your health goals. It all comes down to making good choices when ordering out at a bar and playing with smart ingredient swaps when mixing for yourself at home.

For instance, registered dietitian Juliana Shalek, MS, CDN, and founder of The Nutrition Suite, recommends avoiding drinks that contain juices, simple syrups, sweet vermouth, and liqueurs like Bailey's Irish Cream, Kahlua, and Amaretto when ordering off a cocktail list. The healthiest drink to order? Vodka or tequila with soda water and a lemon or lime, she says. Not only are cocktails like these low in sugar, carbs, and calories, but they're also stronger than say, a glass of wine (meaning, you'll probably end up drinking fewer over the course of an evening).

However, the healthiest option is usually making your own drinks at home. When it comes to playing bartender, simple ingredient swaps are the key to creating healthy cocktail recipes. Ahead, Shalek explains how to make a few popular drinks just a bit healthier.