Ordering a classic cocktail with dinner or at happy hour are probably ways you wind down after a hectic day or have fun with friends. However, some of your favorite restaurant chains are shaking up cocktails that have just as many calories as your entrée—if not more. We did some digging and found the biggest boozy offenders.
Methodology: To identify the unhealthiest restaurant cocktails in the nation, we examined the drinks menu at nine popular restaurant chains: Olive Garden, Red Robin, Texas Roadhouse, Cheesecake Factory, TGI Friday’s, Red Lobster, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Applebee’s. We considered cocktails with at least 40 grams of sugar. However, all but two cocktails on this list have at least 70 grams of sugar. We also took saturated fat and sodium contents into consideration. We then ranked by calories to get our final list. We only included, at most, the top two unhealthiest cocktails from each restaurant. We excluded regional and limited-time-only drinks from this list, too.
Outback Steakhouse’s Huckleberry Hooch Moonshine Cocktail
This cocktail combines Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine with muddled seasonal berries and a mixture of mango, orange, and pineapple juices. With that in mind, it’s likely obvious to deduce why just one drink yields a staggering 116 grams of sugar. How much sugar is that? You’d have to eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s Peanut Butter Cup ice cream, and even then you’d fall 8 grams short of what this cocktail contains. All of that for only 140 calories? Imagine if you drank two.
Outback Steakhouse’s Watermelon Hunch Punch
Outback Steakhouse snags the first two spots on this unhealthiest restaurant cocktails list. The Hunch Punch also includes Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine, this time mixed with lemonade and fresh watermelon. As a result, you get a cocktail that houses nearly 130 grams of sugar. That’s like eating 80 Sour Patch Kids gummies!
RELATED: The easy guide to cutting back on sugar is finally here.
Chili’s Spicy Sauza Jalapeno Margarita
If you love margaritas with a kick, then you likely love Chili’s Spicy Sauza, which contains Sauza Signature Blue Silver Tequila Patrón Citrónge and jalapeño peppers. What makes this cocktail so unhealthy is its sodium content. With 2,320 milligrams of the salty stuff, this cocktail comprises about as much sodium as Firehouse Sub’s 8-inch Steak & Cheese sub. Order this margarita without the salted rim to avoid consuming an entire day’s worth of sodium in a single alcoholic beverage.
TGI Friday’s Frozen Blue Hawaiian
This frozen, almost slushie-like drink may look adorable, but beware—this blue drink is loaded in calories and added sugar. A Blue Hawaiian is typically made of rum, pineapple juice, blue curaçao liqueur, and coconut cream. The cream explains why this cocktail costs you 2 grams of saturated fat. If you need a rum fix, opt for a Captain Morgan & Coke at TGI Friday’s—it costs you a fraction of the calories and sugar (120 calories, 15 grams of sugar).
TGI Friday’s Flaming Frozen Lava Flow
TGI Friday’s strikes again with the creamy and sugar-filled cocktails. How exactly can a cocktail be flaming and frozen all at once you might ask? The top of the cocktail is literally set on fire. Now that’s what we call a hot garnish!
Texas Roadhouse Frozen Raspberry Margarita
After you’ve noshed on a few of Texas Roadhouse’s complimentary buttery rolls and ordered your meal, you may feel inclined to top the night off with one of the restaurant’s signature frozen margaritas. The team at Eat This, Not That! advises strongly against that, seeing as the raspberry flavor of the classic drink costs you nearly 500 calories and 83 grams of sugar. Instead, order the original margarita on the rocks for just 170 calories and 14 grams of sugar.
Red Lobster’s Raspberry Lobsterita
Are you starting to see a trend here? Frozen margaritas will cause some damage to the waistline if consumed regularly. Red Lobster’s Raspberry-flavored margarita also packs the most sugar out of all of the margarita flavors the seafood place has to offer—you’ve been warned!
Red Lobster’s Alotta Colada
For 580 calories, you could either swig on Red Lobster’s Alotta Colada boozy beverage, or you could feast on a half portion of the shrimp linguini alfredo dish. With the pasta dish, you save 53 grams of carbs and 96 grams of sugar. So, which will it be?
TGI Friday’s Ultimate Mudslide
Courtesy of TGI Friday’s Trinidad
TGI Friday’s Mudslide cocktail might as well be called a milkshake with Bailey’s Irish Cream, vanilla ice cream, and chocolate syrup all swirled into the mix. In addition to Bailey’s, Kahlúa, and vodka give this drink a boozy boost. Trust us, there are other ways you can get a buzz and not sacrifice 86 grams of sugar.
Red Robin’s Blue Moon Beer Shake
Finally, the worst cocktail of them all: The Blue Moon Beer Shake from Red Robin. Belgian White Blue Moon is paired with Cointreau and orange juice, as well as soft-serve ice cream to concoct the unhealthiest cocktail that you can order from a popular chain restaurant. Not only does this drink amount to more than 800 calories, but it also costs you two more grams of saturated fat and 17 grams more carbs than Red Robin’s The Southern Charm Burger. Why not just drink a Blue Moon?