ll archives: Healthy-ish Holiday Drinks
The holidays are a great time to get together, but they often come with a surplus of calories. All the rich foods and the equally rich drinks can wreak havoc on your body, especially if you aren’t used to heavy foods. So look at your options! You can either lighten up a drink with less fat or sugar, or you can simply choose healthier drinks from the start.
Hot chocolate can go either way. It doesn’t have to be a fattening drink, but it’s easy to make it one. Using full-fat milk and whipped cream or marshmallows can send your blood sugar rocketing. However, if you skip the pour-and-mix packets, you can make it a bit healthier. Instead of using traditional milk and sugar, substitute it for whatever nondairy milk you like and skimp on the sugar. Instead of topping it off with whipped cream or marshmallows, drop in some liquor and add a candy cane for a minty garnish.
Eggnog is delicious, but it’s loaded with heavy cream. Instead of using eggs, whole fat milk and tons of sugar, try toning it down. Instead of whole milk, substitute an alternative like almond milk. Soy milk is also low in fat, and has a creamier texture than almond milk, even if it does lack some of the flavor. To make it thick, sweet and creamy, add a banana instead of the eggs. Then just toss in the rum and spices! If you want to make it even better, try a sprinkle of cocoa for garnish, and to add a chocolatey undertone.
Mulled wine is easy to make, relatively low calorie, and hey, it’s wine. Mixing red wine with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and anise add a lot of extra flavor, without the extra calories. If you’re going all out for the holidays, a bit of honey and some citrus zest can make your wine the best in town. You can even bump up the alcohol and toss some brandy in there as well. Mix it all together in a crockpot and let it simmer. Not only is this delicious and serves a party, but it also makes your house smell divine.
rose and mint champagne cocktail
A rose and mint cocktail sounds delicious, but it looks even better. Mix the champagne with sugar, add some lime juice and sprinkle in rose petals and mint leaves. This recipe can be heavy on the sugar, so feel free to use a sugar substitute instead. This drink is one-of-a-kind, and very classy. If you’re someone who’s getting engaged, this could be a great way to help celebrate. December is the most popular month for proposals, after all!
blood orange french 75
Some people can’t celebrate the holidays without a little bubbly, and what’s wrong with that? Just because a classic French 75 is already great doesn’t mean you can’t make it even better, so blood oranges to the rescue! Make the classic drink with a few minor variations, add the muddled blood oranges for a pop of color and great flavor, and you have yourself a signature party drink.
the golden apple
Apple is pretty much the bees’ knees for winter fruits, and vodka is the perfect companion. A healthy splash of vodka and apple brandy mixed with some bubbly cider make this drink the perfect winter tonic. If you want to get super fancy, edible gold flakes can be added around the rim, or you can keep it simple and stick with an apple slice for cleaner teeth.
A cosmopolitan is a pretty classic drink, no matter what time of year it is. It was, of course, made famous by a certain television show – Carrie Bradshaw, anyone? – and it’s stayed popular ever since. If you’re a fan of classy drinks with a light, citrus flavor, then cosmos are right up your alley! Since it clocks in at 199 calories, you don’t have to worry about it ruining your diet if you have more than one.
white cranberry sangria
Anyone who likes wine knows that sangria is a great drink, especially for the holidays. For most sangria recipes, you’ll want to use white wine, so be careful what you choose. White wine can have more sugar than red, especially if you use a dessert wine. You probably won’t want to though, as those can be almost syrup-like in taste. However, pick a nice, dry white, toss in some colorful winter fruits, add a liqueur or two and a touch of fizz, and you have a perfect holiday drink. You also get to eat the boozy fruit that comes in your glass, so you’re getting extra nutrients to boot!
With so much sugar going around for the holidays, sometimes you need something that’s not sweet. Sake tends to have a touch of salt, which makes it the perfect remedy for taste buds that have had more than enough sweet. The salty, ginger-infused sake gets cooled down a bit with a touch of ginger ale, and the low calorie count doesn’t hurt either.
gingered cider hot sake
A hot toddy is a winter classic, and is hailed as a traditional cold remedy. It’s already healthy, even if you don’t change a thing. Sometimes, though, the classics do need an update, and this hot toddy has gotten a festive twist. In addition to the regular brandy, honey and lemon that helps with colds, you can add in apple cider, fresh ginger and a bit of tea. You can even go loose if you like to read the leaves after.
As you can see, there are plenty of holiday options out there that won’t make you feel heavy. Try some of these out for a perfect signature holiday drink.