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We laugh when people say low-calorie and cocktail in the same sentence. Remember the trend of actually putting Splenda and ice in Pinot to make a “Pinot-rita”? 

Luckily, Pakpao, a Thai restaurant in Oak Lawn, has created a menu of new low-calorie cocktails that don’t taste, well, low-cal. With drinks like the Ginger-Pisco (Pisco Portón, Cointreau Noir, lemon juice and fresh ginger) and the Chula-Rita (Z Tequila, lemongrass water, lime and Cointreau), it’s reason enough to call it a workday at 4 and start your happy hour early.

Want to get the Pakpao experience at home? Owner and chef Jet Tila--who has appeared on Cutthroat Kitchen, Iron Chef America and Food Fighters--was kind enough to share his recipe for the Watermelon Slim, a 175-calorie cocktail that uses first-rate ingredients for a drink that’s as delicious as it is guilt-free.

(Tip: Put the watermelon chunks in the freezer for an hour to make an extra-icy version.)

Pakpao Thai, 1628 Oak Lawn Ave., Suite 120; 214-749-7002 or pakpaothai.com

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