It may be 5 o’clock someplace, but there’s never a good time to overdo it with these toxic cocktails.
In an ideal world, none of us would be enticed by the delicious and calming charm of alcohol. But unfortunately, not only is it potentially addictive, but it’s also linked to a slew of short- and long-term health hazards ranging from weight gain to liver damage.
However, even former President Franklin D. Roosevelt acknowledged the necessity for a debaucherous liquid escape, famously remarking that “what America needs now is a drink” shortly after Prohibition was repealed in 1933. Perhaps “need” is an overstatement, but there’s no shame in wanting to unwind with a stiff, icy cocktail—as long as it’s done correctly and in healthy moderation. Those who do not enjoy beer, wine, or strong seltzers may turn to mixed drinks, many of which are loaded with added sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup or other high-calorie sweeteners. Unfortunately, it’s too simple for Happy Hour cocktail connoisseurs to order one of the world’s unhealthiest cocktails.
Even if you don’t order the most expensive cocktail on the menu, most mixed drinks contain excessively harmful components while providing little nutritional benefit. You’d be surprised how many calories and grams of sugar can fit into an 8-ounce cocktail glass!
Because some drinks are more unhealthy than others, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most unhealthy cocktails available. So if you’re worried about gaining weight or controlling your blood sugar levels, avoid these sugary sweet, harmful cocktails—and discover more about popular cocktails from the past.
1. The Margarita
Before you go back to Margaritaville and start looking for your missing shaker of salt, keep in mind that this famous combination of tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice, and syrup can account for more than 70% of your daily sugar intake when trying to stick to a 2,000 calorie diet. But, of course, this is before you consider how the mix of sodium and tequila might raise your heart rate and potentially raise your blood pressure if you order this deadly cocktail with a salted rim.
As much as you may want to “frosé all day,” doing so is simply asking for weight gain. With nearly 58 grams of sugar per 8 oz, this frozen rosé drink exceeds the recommended daily amount of sugar, with a daily value of 115.2%. Remember that while 8 ounces is the standard quantity for a bar cocktail, frosé is occasionally served in more giant daiquiri-style cups, making portion control even more difficult. Instead of this cocktail, try a simple glass of rosé wine. In addition to being less expensive, it contains a quarter of the calorie and sugar content.
3. Long Island Iced Tea
Long Island iced teas are famous for blending gin, white rum, silver tequila, vodka, triple sec, simple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and a dash of cola, aside from being a shortcut to a long night that you may or may not remember the next day, the high sugar content of this unhealthy concoction will add to your physical difficulties while hurting your overall health.
It’s one thing to ask Sex and the City and Just Like That viewers to suspend their disbelief as Carrie Bradshaw trots about Manhattan in Manolos like they’re running shoes and never get a blister. It’s quite another for us to believe these women could down Cosmos like water while still fitting into a Prada size 2. One 8-ounce Cosmopolitan has 456 calories, more than some McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches. So if you want to feel metropolitan chic while sipping a cocktail, go for a traditional vodka martini to reduce calories.
5. Frozen Daiquiri
Daiquiris, while incredibly refreshing, is possibly one of the unhealthiest drinks you can order due to its high sugar content. Despite having only three main ingredients (rum, lime juice, and syrup), this drink has roughly 40 grams of sugar.
6. Rum Punch
Be aware of the fresh pineapple wedge garnish. However, sweet, delectable, classic Jamaican rum punch is a robust, calorie-dense beverage made with pineapple, orange, lime juices, grenadine, maraschino cherries, and an overproof rum triple threat of dark, light, and flavored rums.
7. Whiskey Sour
A traditional whiskey sour is made using whiskey, lemon juice, sugar, and occasionally a dab of egg white. However, many pubs and restaurants serve this cocktail with a premixed component rather than shaking it up fresh. As a result, some whiskey sours, particularly those that are premixed or use premixed features, might contain more than 30 grams of sugar per 8-ounce serving.
8. White Russian
This cocktail, made with vodka, Kahla, and heavy cream, has 47% of your daily sugar allowance. There are also plenty of alternative delicious and filling ways to consume 400 calories, such as several fast food ice creams that are half the calorie content of this unhealthy cocktail.
Mudslides are, in essence, dessert in a cup. One martini-sized glass of mudslide, made with vodka, Kahla, Irish cream liqueur, and heavy cream, reportedly contains roughly the same amount of sugar as a milk chocolate Hershey’s bar—and that doesn’t include the additional garnishes and chocolate syrup drizzle that typically tops this unhealthy cocktail. So if you’re worried about losing weight, you can be sure that a delicious mudslide will drag you down, just like Fleetwood Mac’s prolific lyrics.
10. Pina Colada
Suppose you enjoy pia coladas but are watching your sugar intake. In that case, I have some terrible news for you: Unfortunately, the total combination of ingredients, which includes pineapple juice as well as white and dark rum, makes it a highly sugar-saturated beverage option, with approximately 40 grams of sugar per 8-ounce cup.
Learn more: How to Make a Frittata