Weight Watchers Point Values for Your Favorite Cocktails
Oprah LOVES bread. She loves it. And she won’t stop telling us how much she loves it in her ads for Weight Watchers, a diet program that doesn’t make her give up her precious bread. Weight Watchers runs on a points system, assigning value to everything that goes into your body based on calories, saturated fat, sugar and protein, with a golf-like mentality of lower is better. Our bread is booze, meaning we’re never going to give up alcohol even when we’re hitting the gym and watching our waistlines. But calculating the points in a cocktail is extremely difficult to do without asking the bartender for a nutrition label, so we’ve done the math to create approximate point values for some of the most popular cocktails. So go ahead—if Oprah can have bread every day, we don’t see why you can’t have that daily cocktail.
The Guilt-Free: 2-3 points
There’s a reason why every basic, wannabe model at da club is sipping on a Vodka Soda—they’re practically free of calories or sugar. While it doesn’t get better points-wise than a Vodka Soda at two points, any other simple spirit and soda combination, like a Scotch & Soda, is nearly as acceptable at around three points. It should go without saying that if you swap out club soda for something sugary like cola, tonic or ginger beer, your drink will end up in a higher points category.
The Safe Bets: 4-5 points
With no added sweeteners or liqueurs, Manhattans and Martinis (the classic kinds, no fruity ‘Tinis) are excellent options at four points. Their high ABV means you’ll sip slowly, so just one should last you the duration of happy hour. If you still need some mixer in your life, opt for cocktails made with natural ingredients, like a Moscow Mule made with real, high-quality ginger beer, or a salt-less Margarita made only with real agave syrup and fresh lime juice. Both cocktails clock in at five points. By sneaking some protein and veggies into the mix, the Bloody Mary (sans crazy garnishes) also falls into this low points category as well—as long as it’s not the bottomless kind.
The Occasional Treats: 6-9 points
The majority of cocktails fall into this category, due to their syrups, liqueurs and sugary fruit juices. On the lower end of the spectrum, coming in at six to seven points, are simple cocktails that go relatively easy on the sweeteners, such as Gin & Tonics, Negronis, Gimlets, Sea Breezes and Old Fashioneds. Above that at eight to nine points are even sweeter cocktails, like Cosmopolitans, Appletinis, Mojitos, Whiskey Sours and Daiquiris. Most Sangrias will also run you between six and eight points, depending on the amount of liqueurs, fruits or flavorings added.
The Cheat Days: 10-12 points
Get ready to pay the price in points. To no one’s surprise, the cocktails that have an astronomical amount of points are the jumbo-sized, extra-sugary, ultra-creamy, over-the-top boozy options. While the White Russian comes in at a modest 10 points, drinks like the Piña Colada, Zombie, Grasshopper and anything made with ice cream will run you a whopping 12 points. Also racking up a dirty dozen: the mega-potent and Coca-Cola topped Long Island Iced Tea. Best not to have these drinks before the group weigh-in day.