Get the Skinny

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Imbibe in delicious cocktails that offer tons of flavor without loads of calories.

By Vicki Hogue-Davies | Photos by Jody Tiongco


SurfNSandEnjoying a cocktail or two doesn’t have to be a waistline-expanding experience. “Skinny drinks” generally have around 200 calories or less, use natural ingredients rather than refined sugars, and are often a healthier alternative to more traditionally mixed cocktails. Check out these restaurants, bars and lounges in town that offer delicious low-cal drinks that will help you maintain or improve your figure.

Refreshingly Delicious

It’ll be love at first sip when you experience the Cucumber Crush at Montage Laguna Beach’s poolside Mosaic Bar & Grille. This refreshing sipper features the subtle sweetness of Anjou pear from Grey Goose La Poire vodka. Along with the vodka, the drink includes muddled cucumbers, agave nectar, fresh lime juice and a splash of soda. “The Cucumber Crush is uniquely popular here,” says Troy Smith, Montage beverage manager. “It’s refreshing and light.” Mosaic also serves the Skinny Pom-A-Rita, made with Patron Silver tequila, lime and pomegranate juices and agave nectar with a cinnamon-sugar rim. (866-933-6438;

Dramatic ocean views and creative and delicious cocktails are on the menu at Splashes Bar at the Surf & Sand Resort. The Superfruit Martini, infused with antioxidants, is a low-calorie and tasty choice when visiting the bar. The aptly named cocktail combines VeeV Acai Spirit, Stoli blueberry vodka, mangosteen juice, pomegranate juice and lime juice in a concoction made for toasting to your own health and the good health of those around you. (949-376-2779;

Sinless Margaritas

The Skinny Razzgarita at Rock’n Fish features Jose Cuervo Silver tequila, fresh lime juice, organic agave syrup and fresh raspberries for added fruit pop. With 100 fewer calories and the same amount of alcohol as the restaurant’s regular margarita, it claims the thin title in a flavorful and appealing way. While some skinny margaritas use artificial “zero” calorie sweeteners to reduce calories, Rock’n Fish makes the drink tasty by using full-flavored organic agave syrup, says Ricardo Loch, general manager. “As agave syrup is about 25 percent sweeter than sugar, you can use less and still have plenty of sweetness. It dissolves completely into the drink without leaving crystals, further adding to its taste appeal,” he explains. (949-497-3113;

Drinking light at Hotel Laguna’s OceanView Bar and Grill is easy if you order the Skinny Margarita. Made with Avion Silver tequila, agave nectar and fresh lime juice over ice, the drink uses all fresh ingredients with nothing processed in sight. The award-winning Avion Silver is a “very smooth tequila,” and when mixed with the premium, fresh lime juice and organic agave nectar, a truly unique beverage is created, says Hannie Darwazeh, food and beverage director for the hotel. This lighter margarita is approximately 200 calories, half the calories of its house 363 Margarita. (949-494-1151;

LBM_35_SkinnyMartini_SundriedTomato_ByJodyT-8Uniquely Prepared

Sundried Tomato Cafe offers several signature skinny drinks as well as other cocktails that can be made low-calorie upon request. The Skinny Hendrick’s Martini is made of Hendrick’s gin, fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice and muddled sage. Skinny Sean’s Jar, named for Sundried’s bartender, features Canadian Spicebox whisky, freshly squeezed Meyer lemon and muddled blackberries. “Our bartender, Sean Melia, has the talent to make the drinks taste like they are not skinny,” says Jamie Black, general manager. Other low-cal options are an Effen cucumber-infused vodka cocktail mixed with club soda and muddled mint served in a highball glass, and a lower calorie margarita. (949-494-3312;

To experience skinny drink heaven, try one of Nirvana Grille’s signature cosmopolitans. The Skinny Pear-Agave Cosmo and Skinny Pomegranate-Agave Cosmo use agave nectar and whole-fruit purees as natural enhancers, avoiding the refined sugars found in simple syrup and other traditional drink sweeteners. You aren’t limited to cosmopolitans at Nirvana, however, should you crave a different low-cal drink. “All of our cocktails can be made skinny,” says chef Lindsay Smith-Rosales. “Just ask the bartender to switch the simple syrup to agave.” (949-497-0027;


At The Deck, located at the Pacific Edge hotel, the Skinny Bikini Margarita also uses agave nectar, “a natural sweetener with a lower glycemic index than sugar,” explains Nick Papadatos, general manager. “We also squeeze the fruit for the natural juices instead of using bottled juices with added sugars.” Any of The Deck’s cocktails can be made skinny by eliminating the simple syrup or sugar and substituting with natural and/or low-calorie alternatives. “What really makes our skinny drinks unique is squeezing fresh fruit instead of using a skinny mix,” Nick says. “That lets us get a fresher taste and still keep those calories out.” (949-494-6700; LBM


More Skinny Drinking Spots

230 Forest Avenue Restaurant & Bar  (949-494-2545;

Asada (949-715-5533;

Avila’s El Ranchito (949-376-7040;

Bar Raya, The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel (949-240-2000;

GG’s Bistro (949-494-9306;

House of Big Fish & Ice Cold Beer (949-715-4500;

Las Brisas (949-497-5434;

Mozambique (949-715-7777;

Pool Bar & Grill, The St. Regis Monarch Beach
(One Monarch Beach Resort, Dana Point;   (949-234-3200;

Starfish (949-715-9200;

Watermarc (949-376-6272;

K’ya Bistro Bar (949-376-9718;

The Rooftop Lounge (949-497-2446;


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