Have a drink—and keep that bikini bod into autumn—with (left to right) Hudson at Haymount House’s Hudson Old Fashioned, MTK Tavern’s The MT Low Kal, and Seaside Johnnies’s Skinny Berry Mojito.
Cutting out alcohol is not an option—at least not for me—but finding drinks that are lower in calories is. I tend to look for drinks that clock in at around the 100-calorie mark. Luckily, a number of Westchester bartenders are experimenting with their own blends, making it possible to enjoy lighter cocktails guaranteed to keep you bathing-suit-ready well past the summer season.
Yes, Crush (1985 Palmer Ave, Larchmont 914-834-6600; crushwinebars.com) is a wine bar, but it also prides itself on its specialty cocktail list, which plays on the crush theme, including a Schoolgirl Crush (Prosecco, Absolut Raspberri, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur); Lifelong Crush (Prosecco, Grand Marnier); and Secret Crush (Prosecco, Absolut Citron). Warm weather brings The Poolside Crush (160 calories; $10), which is made with one and a half ounces of Bombay Sapphire, a half-ounce of St-Germain elderflower liqueur, two ounces of club soda, and a lime wedge—an ideal companion to a small-plates sampling of fresh mozzarella and tomato.
The bartenders at Grace’s Table (324 Central Ave, White Plains 914-684-8855; graces-table.com) are clearly having fun. Their specialty cocktail list features a variety of Westchester-themed cocktails like the Central Avenue Margarita (Patrón Silver, lime juice, agave nectar) and the I’ll Take White Plains (Wild Turkey, Dubonnet Rouge, and orange liqueur). For those watching their weight, there’s the Key Lime Vodka Mojito (75 calories; $10) created by Elizabeth Moyher. The thirst-quenching drink includes one and a half ounces of Absolut vanilla vodka, six ounces of Key lime-flavored sparkling water, four fresh mint leaves, and fresh lime slices.
There’s a festive spirit to Havana Central Yonkers (238 Market St, Yonkers 914-423-5500; havanacentral.com), where the feel is evocative of pre-revolutionary Cuba. House-made red sangria is prepared at your table for two or more, the waitstaff is eager to serve you, and Happy Hour is from 3 to 7 pm, Monday to Friday. The enthusiasm to please includes these two low-cal options: one that tastes like dessert and features a creamy texture, and another that brims with tequila tang. Choose the Skinny Coconut & Chocolate Café Con Leche (131 calories; $12), made with 10 Cane Rum, Godiva chocolate liqueur, agave nectar, and coconut soy, or the Skinny Partida Margarita (135 calories; $12), comprising Partida Tequila, agave nectar, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Can you say Salud?
The Gatsby-like ambience at Hudson at Haymount House (25 Studio Hill Rd, Briarcliff Manor 914-502-0080; haymounthouseny.com) is the perfect place to explore seasonal dishes and drinks. Cheers to mixologist Charles Conti, who came up with the waist-friendly Crop Circle (106 calories; $12), a combination of Crop Organic Cucumber Vodka, Pama Pomegranate Liqueur, freshly squeezed lime juice, and fresh cucumber slices. The bar prides itself on its Prohibition-style drinks, like the Hudson Old Fashioned (muddled orange slice, maraschino cherry, sugar cubes, and cherry bitters filled with ice and Knob Creek bourbon).
MTK Tavern (30 E Main St, Mount Kisco 914-218-3334; mtktavern.com) may be the new kid on the block (open since May), but we suspect it will soon become an old favorite, at least among those looking for a place to eat, drink, and be merry (the tavern’s motto). Live music is a big part of the draw, as is a sophisticated bevvy of spirits and small-plate offerings. Ideal with the tavern’s sliders: The MT Low Kal (120 calories, $10), a serious punch of a drink made with Rain Organics Cucumber Lime Vodka, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, and muddled organic cucumber.
There are 15 specialty martinis at NoMa Social (1 Radisson Plz, New Rochelle 914-576-4141; nomasocial.com), including four specifically designed for the skinny-gal crowd (150 calories; $13 each). Regularly on the menu: Gummy Bear (made with Stoli Razberi Vodka, a splash of peach schnapps, club soda, and fresh peaches) and Dirty Skinny Girl (with Figenza fig-flavored vodka, olive juice, and one blue-cheese-and-bacon-stuffed olive). The ultra-loungey restaurant, off of the lobby in the Radisson Hotel, turns into a nightclub on weekend nights with either a DJ or live music (starting at 10:30 pm), meaning you can easily dance your calories away.
Craving Italy but don’t have the vacation time? Savona’s (2 Chase Rd, Scarsdale 914-798-0550; savonarestaurant.com) Mediterranean vibe and delightful menu please with crispy pizzas and house-made pastas. Tear yourself away from the impressive wine list and try their ultra-light Ligurian Limonata (175 calories; $12), a combination of vodka, lemon juice, Acqua Panna mineral water, fresh mint leaves, and Splenda, garnished with an Amarena Fabbri cherry skewer.
Nothing beats a nice cold drink and a gorgeous waterside view. At Seaside Johnnies (94 Dearborn Ave, Rye 914-921-6104; seasidejohnnies.com) you get both, not to mention a dose of the season’s finest fruits. Order the Skinny Berry Mojito (190 calories; $12), a mixture of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, Don Q premium rum, Splenda, lime juice, fresh mint, and a splash of soda. Just be warned: At 16 ounces, it’s large enough to share, though, trust us, you won’t want to.
Mexican restaurants are generally known for their frozen concoctions, and Vega (189 E Hartsdale Ave, Hartsdale 914-723-0010; vega mexican.com) doesn’t disappoint. This chic outpost, which specializes in pitch-perfect, prepared-at-your-tableside guacamole and a funky atmosphere, offers a watermelon margarita (150 calories; $10) that blends perfectly with the menu’s many options. The drink is a frothy combination of lime zest, lime juice, watermelon purée, orange-flavored liqueur, and pure agave tequila. Plus, of course, lots of salt and a lime wedge. You are, after all, in the land of the margarita.