To be skinny, and to be a girl: what more could the health-minded alcohol consumer want? Satisfying this desire is Skinnygirl, the low-calorie alcohol line founded by real housewife Bethenny Frankel, who is a testament to the appeal of extreme youth, even for the most successful grownup.
It bears mentioning that Frankel sold the cocktail company for a figure in the neighborhood of $100 million, so she must be doing something right!
“But how do they taste?” the imaginary reader asks. Well, we drank every single one of Skinnygirl’s ready-to-serve cocktail flavors to find out. With this information, you’ll be well on your way to skinniness, and girlishness, in no time.
What the company says: “A smooth white sangria base, sweetened with delicious (and natural!) agave nectar. Accessorize Skinnygirl® Sangria with your favorite fruit, and ¡ahí está! – a low-cal fiesta-in-a-glass!”
Nutritional info: 10.5% ABV; 132 calories/5 fluid ounces; 22.5g carbs/5 fluid ounces
Tasting notes: For fans of white grape juice, when you just can't get enough of that white grape juice flavor, and wish it had some sweet wine thrown in. This is what I picture a night in Barcelona to be like, if it were actually a night in Orlando, Florida.
What the company says: “It’s a slightly sweeter taste in a low-cal margarita you love that will keep glasses rising for more.”
Nutritional info: 9.95% ABV; 37.5 calories/1.5 fluid ounce; 2.7g carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: "If only the Skinnygirl margarita were sweeter," said someone, and others agreed. Sweeten it they did, with a fun little apostrophe thrown in to jazz up the drinking experience. It also has less alcohol than the original -- a big minus.
7. Piña Colada
What the company says: “Yes, we've achieved the impossible – a low-calorie pina colada that tastes even better than its full-calorie cousin.”
Nutritional info: 9.95% ABV; 33.3 calories/1.5 fluid ounc; 2 grams carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: You have to like piña coladas, and even then, you have to REALLY like piña coladas. This seems like it could be frozen into a lollipop form, and it would be more palatable. Maybe that's the next move for Skinnygirl? Skinnypops?
6. Spicy Lime Margarita
What the company says: “Eveyone [sic] loves a margarita with a kick, but no one likes the extra calories!”
Nutritional info: 9.95% ABV; 35.7 calories/1.5 fluid ounce; 3g carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: "Everyone." "No one." These words have special meaning in the Skinnygirl universe. It is true, however, that I cannot disprove that everyone loves a margarita with a kick. The kick was pleasing. But it was reigned in a bit by the way it resembled what Pixy Stix with dashes of cayenne might taste like.
What the company says: “A cocktail complemented best with a fresh lime and mint leaf garnish. See, it is easy being green, at least when you're sipping a low-cal Skinnygirl® Mojito!”
Nutritional info: 9.95% ABV; 32.2 calories/1.5 fluid ounce; 2 grams carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: Heavy on the sweetness, and could've used more mint, but not half bad! Not half good, either. If only there were some sugar stats given on the nutritional info; instead, the back of the bottle displays a note from Bethenny herself, telling us that the Mojito is the perfect complement to a girls night out or in. Skinnygirl Mojito: For literally any occasion.
What the company says: “Serve this refreshingly light low-calorie Margarita in a fun glass rimmed with salt, and you and your girls are good to go!”
Nutritional info: 12.7% ABV; 37.5 calories/1.5 fluid ounce; 1.7g carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: It's the original, and surprisingly solid! You've got your lime, your tequila, your agave, your reduced-calories-but-barely-notice-they're-gone-because-it's-so-delicious-yet-guilt-free flavor. What more could you want?
3. White Cranberry Cosmo
What the company says: “A sassy take on a classic, combining hints of orange essence, subtle lime, berry fruit notes and cranberry into a natural, agave-sweetened wonder.”
Nutritional info: 9.95% ABV; 34 calories/1.5 fluid ounce; 2.3g carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: This one is pretty "vodka-y," in a good way. Love that the cranberry astringency helps balance out the sweetness. Or is cranberry "sassy," instead of "astringent?"
2. Sweet-n-Tart Grapefruit Margarita
What the company says: "Quite simply, it's citrus meets delicious with our newest low-cal gal. Yep, we have managed to pull off the near impossible, creating yet another spinoff that's as good as the original!"
Nutritional info: 9.95% ABV; 37.2 calories/1.5 fluid ounces; 3g carbs/1.5 fluid ounces
Tasting notes: Skinnygirl is a company dedicated to making the impossible -- or near impossible -- possible. Who would've thunk that a spinoff could be as good as the original? I'm a grapefruit sucker from way back, so this one reminds me of breakfast. That's always a good thing for an alcoholic drink, right?
1. White Peach Margarita
What the company says: "White Peach boasts premium Silver Tequila with sweet agave nectars, but adds in a unique twist with sweet ripe peach and hints of lime. But don't worry - this one's low-cal too."
Nutritional info: 12.7% ABV; 37.2 calories/1.5 fluid ounce; 1.2g carbs/1.5 fluid ounce
Tasting notes: Do Skinnygirl loyalists freak out every time a new flavor is released, thrown into fits of anxiety over the possibility that CALORIES might be a part of the "unique twist"?
This one smells like a peach Jolly Rancher, and tastes... like a peach Jolly Rancher. Amazing! Add to that the fact that this has a higher alcohol content than most of the other cocktails, and I'm ready to kick back with the girls and enjoy an evening of peach-flavored real talk.
I'm not sure I feel any skinnier after this experiment, but I've certainly broadened my palate to include the diverse, agave-sweetened world of ready-to-serve cocktails -- with none of the "guilt" that comes with consuming calories, of any kind, at any time.
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Anthony Schneck is the health editor at Thrillist, and is never drinking again. Follow him @AnthonySchneck.