During the holiday season we spend a lot of energy trying to avoid the indulgent meals and sweets at every corner. However, we often neglect the biggest source of added calories and sugar: holiday cocktails!
First let’s look at the average calories of a few standard holiday drinks:
American Beer 12 oz. – 150
Craft Beer (~7% alcohol) – 210
Red Wine 5 oz. – 125
White Wine 5 oz. – 125
Vodka Tonic – 140
Rum and Coke – 150
White Russian – 150
Old Fashioned – 155
Martini – 165
Hot Toddy – 165
Eggnog – 225
It’s important to remember that these calories are the bare minimum estimates from your stingiest bar, not your best friend with the heavy pour or your aunt with wine glasses the size of your head! So you can see that a few innocent drinks at holiday parties can add up.
Oftentimes we make low calorie cocktails by switching out the sugary ingredients with their artificial sweetener counterparts. I’m not a huge fan of artificial sweeteners however, so here are some cocktail recipe alternatives that are all under 100 calories without artificial sweeteners!
Champagne – 95 calories
Champagne is not only light in flavor but it comes in at our lowest calorie stand-alone drink, so it’s an excellent option when you can’t make your own. Be careful, though, these small glasses can add up and a champagne hangover is something that you’ll only want to wake up to once!
Moscow Mule – 100 calories
This recipe from The Active Times takes a little prep because you need to make the ginger syrup, but once that is made you can have low calorie Moscow mules all season! If you don’t have time for the ginger syrup, you can grate approximately 1 tsp of fresh ginger and add liquid stevia to taste.
Find the recipe at www.theactivetimes.com.
Orange Splash – 85 calories
Flavored vodka and fresh fruit are a great way to add some low calorie flavor and still have a great cocktail. The combinations are as varied as your imagination… or the fruit and vodka you have on hand! Start with this simple recipe and add your own special twist. Added bonus: you get to name it!
- 1 ½ oz. citrus vodka
- 4 oz. soda water
- 1 orange slice squeezed or muddled
Cherry Whisky Sours – 88 calories
This drink uses ingredients with strong flavors so that they only have to use small amounts. It also incorporates fresh fruit and juices so you get natural sweetness without all the added calories.
Find the recipe at www.rachaelraymag.com.
If you have any favorite healthy holiday cocktails, I’d love to hear about them. Leave the recipes in the comments below so I can try them out! Enjoy the holidays!