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3 easy ways to lighten up your favorite summer cocktails

From watermelon margaritas to cherry frosé, Joy Bauer shows us some lighter summer sips.
by Joy Bauer / / Source: TODAY

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Whether you're visiting a friend for a backyard barbecue, hosting a party or simply relaxing by the pool this summer you may just find yourself with a boozy beverage — or two — in hand. But remember, alcoholic drinks are often loaded with unwanted calories and extra sugar.

These warm-weather imbibing tips will help you stay hydrated, not get too tipsy and keep you from feeling bloated.

1. Enjoy a wine or cocktail "sandwich."

I don't mean enjoying a libation between two slices of bread. Instead, "sandwich" your alcoholic beverage with a glass of water or seltzer before and after each glass. This will prevent you from going overboard on the booze and keep you hydrated all day and all night long. Bonus: Your head will most definitely thank you the next morning.

2. Keep it simple.

When in doubt, opt for one of these lighter cocktail orders: a glass of wine, a light beer or a single shot of any spirit on the rocks with club soda, lime and a splash of fruit juice. Each refreshing option contains about 100 calories.

3. BYO-Recipe

Play bartender and get creative in your own kitchen. Try sweetening things up using fruit instead of sugary mixes and syrups made with hard-to-pronounce ingredients. Need some inspiration? Try one of my truly “JOYful” recipes: a Miami Vice (which is half pina colada swirled with half strawberry daiquiri) or a delightfully refreshing Watermelon Margarita.

Cheers to healthier summer sips!

For more healthy tips and recipes, follow Joy on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and pre-order her brand new book "Joy's Simple Food Remedies: Tasty Cures for Whatever's Ailing You."

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