Chicago Cocktails for Calorie Counters

Drinks No Longer Have to Be Diet Busters
Swimsuit season is upon us, but no one wants to forgo cocktails with friends just to fit into their bikini come beach or pool time. With several low-cal cocktails (and even one no-cal option!) now being served in top Chicago lounges such as River North’s Nacional 27 and Red Kiva in the West Loop, your summer social life can now be guilt free, at least when it comes to your libations. 

(Editors’ note: Full menus and photos available for each venue.)

Nacional 27 Spa-Tails
At the sexy Latin hot spot Nacional 27, award-winning bar chef Adam Seger shakes up creative and delicious “Spa Tails,” such as the “Look Better Naked Margartia” and the “Suba” (his take on a South Beach Cuba Libre). These refreshing drinks offer all of the flavor of a regular cocktail, but with a fraction of the calories and health-boosting benefits such as antioxidants and organic ingredients.  Seger’s Spa-Tails are detailed below.

Look Better Naked Margarita
Herradura Reposado Tequila, all organic acai, agave, rosemary, egg white $13

The Look Better Naked Margarita is made from all-natural ingredients, including Herradura Reposado tequila, Sambazon organic acai, organic agave nectar, rosemary, egg white and fresh-squeezed lime juice. Using a Sambazon Pure Organic Acai smoothie pack and Partida Organic Agave Nectar, the margarita is filled with antioxidants, amino acids, dietary fiber, iron, calcium, cholesterol-reducing fructans and vitamins A and C. The rosemary is rich in vitamin E, preventing cancer and skin damage. An egg white provides a lean source of protein, while the fresh lime juice prevents heart disease and gives an extra dose of vitamin C.

Suba: A South Beach Cuba Libre Martini
Bacardi Light Rum, Diet Coke syrup, fresh lime $11

Veev Acai Spirit, organic purple corn, mint, lime, rosemary $11

Organic Mojito Botanica
Hibiscus, ginger, cardamom, kaffir lime $11

Toro 27
Sugar-free, stevia-sweetened yerba-acai energy drink, organic vodka $10

Red Kiva VaporTinis
Red Kiva’s VaporTinis are unique martinis that guests inhale by “sipping” flavor-enhanced alcohol vapors through a straw.  The most alluring aspect of the VaporTini for calorie counters is that because the alcohol vapors are inhaled, there are no carbs, calories or impurities (i.e. no hangover), but you get the same “buzz” as drinking a cocktail. The concept was developed by Red Kiva’s owner Julie Palmer, and Red Kiva is the only place in Chicago that offers the VaporTini.  

The glass globe with custom-made silver metal base has a ‘70s mod-meets-futuristic feel, which appropriately fits the VaporTini – the future of cocktailing.  Red Kiva’s mixologists will pour the selected alcohol (menu below) into the glass globe, then heat the liquid to 110 degrees, beginning the vapor process. A glass straw is inserted into the globe and participants “sip” (inhale) the vapors. It is suggested that guests inhale the flavored vapors for approximately 20 minutes.

VaporTini Menu, $10 each
Effen Black Cherry Vanilla
vodka with a chocolate-covered cherry garnish

Tanqueray Rangpur with a candied citrus peel garnish

Knob Creek with a griottine garnish

Absolut Raspberri served with raspberry candy and chocolates

VaporTinis are only available at Red Kiva on Thursday evenings from 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Table reservations are welcomed for VaporTini service.

Nacional 27
325 West Huron St.
Chicago, IL 60610
Red Kiva
1108 West Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60607


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