National Cocktail Day: Springtime Drinks with No Added Sugar

For us with type 2 diabetes what we drink is just as important as what we eat.  If we aren’t careful we can consume as many calories in beverages a...

For us with type 2 diabetes what we drink is just as important as what we eat.  If we aren’t careful we can consume as many calories in beverages as we do in food and added sugars are very dangerous.  Springtime is here and we want to be able to enjoy delicious drinks without packing on calories or unwanted spikes to our blood sugar. Here are some great recipes for both cocktails and mocktails as we celebrate National Cocktail Day this Thursday!


In general a great way to cut out unwanted calories and stay hydrated while sipping - is to have a base of soda (carbonated water) and add your alcohol, and other ingredients from there.  When we use juices as our base there is always added calories and sugar. The keys to having cocktails that won’t ruin your healthy eating plan is to focus on club soda, fresh ingredients and sugar substitutes whenever possible. 

Skinny Paloma


12 ounces fresh grapefruit juice, 2-3 pink or red grapefruits, juiced

3 ounces tequila

2 teaspoons lime juice


grapefruit flavored sparkling water, optional

sea salt flakes or pink Himalayan sea salt, for the rim


Add 1 shot of tequila, 6 ounces of grapefruit juice, 1 teaspoon of lime juice and ice into each glass. Stir to combine, add a splash of sparkling water (if using) and garnish with a lime wedge.

Tangerine Bourbon Sidecar


2-4 Pixie tangerines or clementines, plus slices or twists for garnish

6 tablespoons bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark

2 tablespoons Triple Sec

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice



Squeeze enough fruit to get 1/4 cup juice. Combine the juice, bourbon, Triple Sec and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker; fill with ice. Shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds. Pour through a strainer into 2 martini glasses. Garnish with a tangerine slice or twist of peel, if desired.

Rosemary-Ginger French 75


1 ½ ounces gin

1 ounce lemon juice

1 ounce Rosemary-Ginger Honey Simple Syrup

2 ounces Champagne or Prosecco


Half-fill a cocktail shaker or a jar with a tight-fitting lid with ice. Add gin, lemon juice and syrup; shake vigorously for 30 seconds. Strain into a Champagne flute or coupe. Top with Champagne (or prosecco). Garnish with lemon twist and/or rosemary, if desired.

Bloody Mary


1/4 teaspoon plus 1/8 teaspoon celery salt, divided

1-1/2 to 2 cups ice cubes, divided

2 ounces vodka

1 cup tomato juice, chilled

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-1/2 teaspoons lime juice

3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish, optional

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


Step 1 - Using water, moisten rim of a highball glass. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon celery salt on a small plate; dip rim into salt. Discard remaining celery salt from plate. Fill a shaker three-fourths full with ice. Place remaining ice in prepared glass.

Step 2 - Add vodka, juices, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish if desired, pepper, remaining celery salt and pepper sauce to shaker; cover and shake until condensation forms on exterior, 10-15 seconds. Strain into prepared glass. Garnish as desired.


Virgin Mojito


16 large fresh mint leaves, plus 4 sprigs to serve

2 fresh limes, washed and cut into small chunks

4 tsp granulated artificial sweetener (add more if desired)

750ml sparkling water

12 ice cubes

1 fresh lime, sliced or cut into wedges, to serve


Step 1 - Divide the mint leaves and lime chunks between four individual glasses, giving each chunk a squeeze as you add it.

Step 2 - Add the sweetener and squash together with the handle of a wooden spoon to bring out the juice and flavours.

Step 3 - Add the ice cubes to each glass, top up with sparkling water, stir and serve with a sprig of mint, a couple of pieces of lime and a straw.

Strawberry Mint-Lemonade


big ripe strawberries- 5

big lemon- 1

mint leaves- 4-5

Medjool dates- 3

water- 3-4 cups

sea salt- 1/4 tsp.


Step 1 - Wash strawberries, remove the stem and chop them roughly. Chop dates roughly.

Step 2- Blend them together with mint leaves till smooth.

Step 3- Combine with water, salt and lemon juice of a lemon. Chill till serving time.


  1. Depending on the sweetness of strawberries, more dates may be required for taste.
  2. Medjool dates are typically sweeter and softer, so blending is easier. Other dates may need prior soaking in

water in order to get a smooth texture.

  1. Suggested serving size: 4 or 6 oz.

Moderation is key in drinking alcohol whether you have diabetes or not. In general, diabetes does bring with it additional challenges, and the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends women should have no more than one alcoholic beverage per day, and men should consume no more than two. One drink equals 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces spirits.  As with every healthy balanced diet it is important to plan your meals and drinks ahead of time and consumer things in moderation. 

We hope you enjoy National Cocktail Day this Thursday and savor each sip! Post your photos or more of your favorite recipes on our free diabetes support group: Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together