8 Lower-Calorie Holiday Cocktails

Posted on December 23, 2015 by

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Lower-Calorie Holiday Cocktails
Who doesn’t like a good cocktail during the holidays? Sure, spending 3 days straight with your extended family might have something to do with it, but beside that, nearly everyone likes to let loose at this time of year. And there are plenty of occasions to do so. From the office holiday party to the lighting of the menorah to the various eve and morning festivities, there’s no shortage of celebrations that can involve libations.

Unfortunately, most holiday cocktails tend to give the double gift of too much fat and too many calories. One cup of eggnog has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat! It’s a meal in a cup, with a ton of added fat and sugar. Then there are the hot chocolates, mulled ciders, and traditional grogs that chase away the winter chill but help you hang on to the pounds. And don’t forget about all the themed mixed drinks that make parties a bit more fun while making your waistline a bit more full. So how do you enjoy the fun of the holiday season without having to hide behind bulky sweaters till July? Here are 8 fun drink ideas that are lower in fat, calories, and sugar than their original versions.

 

1. Skinny Pumpkin Pie Martini. Yeah, I know. It’s as good as it sounds. There are several pumpkin liqueurs on the market, which are convenient, but add a ton of calories. By using the actual squash, you get the flavor without the calories—and, believe it or not, a little fiber in your drink.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients
4 fl. oz. vanilla vodka
1 Tbsp. raw honey
¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
¼ cup pumpkin puree
½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preparation:
1. Place vodka, honey, almond milk, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, or until puree is completely dissolved.
2. Strain evenly into two martini glasses; serve immediately.

Skinny Pumpkin Pie Martini

2. Grog. Its rich history dates back 400 years, when it used to be rationed out to sailors at sea. The big babies wouldn’t drink their scurvy-preventing dose of lemon juice straight, so the powers that be dressed it up with a little rum. Since the additional ingredients only serve to make it that much tastier, it stands to reason that being “three sheets to the wind” was fairly common.

Total Time: 28 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 18 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Lemon peel (from half a lemon)
Orange peel (from half an orange)
1 Tbsp. raw honey
2 whole cloves (or 1 dash ground cloves)
2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon)
1 cup water
4 fl. oz. rum

Preparation:
1. Place lemon juice, lemon peel, orange peel, honey, cloves, cinnamon, and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add rum; mix well.
3. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Grog

3. Gingerbread Toddy. In cold weather, a hot drink can warm you up faster than a Snuggie® and an electric blanket. This hot toddy will make you feel warm while it makes you think you’re eating gingerbread cookies. Yummy.

Total Time: 14 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 4 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup water
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. blackstrap molasses (or molasses)
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 dash ground cloves
2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon)
4 fl. oz. brandy

Preparation:
1. Place water, lemon juice, molasses, ginger, cloves, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add brandy; mix well.
3. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Gingerbread Toddy

4. Holiday Hot Chocolate. You can obviously buy no-sugar-added hot chocolate in packages and do this the easy way. But you’re no slacker. You can make homemade hot chocolate instead, which makes your house smell amazing and impresses your friends and family.

Total Time: 14 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 4 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
4 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. coconut sugar (or raw honey)
4 fl. oz. peppermint schnapps
Mint leaves (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place almond milk, cocoa powder, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
2. Add peppermint schnapps; mix well.
3. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

Holiday Hot Cocoa

5. Skinny Peppermint Martini. This is perhaps the simplest and tastiest low-calorie cocktail out there. Just three ingredients and a bit of candy cane. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 fl. oz. vanilla vodka
2 tsp. raw honey
1½ cups unsweetened almond milk
1 fl. oz. peppermint schnapps
Mint leaves (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place vodka, honey, almond milk, and peppermint schnapps in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, or until well mixed.
2. Strain evenly into two martini glasses. Garnish with mint leaves if desired; serve immediately.

Skinny Peppermint Martini

6. Mulled Apple Cider. Nothing makes a house smell more like Christmas than some mulled apple cider—except maybe those overpriced candles constantly being advertised on TV. And this cider tastes better, so take that, Glade®!

Total Time: 31 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 21 min.
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
1 cup water
Orange peel (from half an orange)
4 whole cloves (or 1 dash ground cloves)
2 cinnamon sticks (or ½ tsp. ground cinnamon)
1 thin slice fresh ginger
1 cup unsweetened apple cider (or unsweetened apple juice)
2 fl. oz. brandy

Preparation:
1. Place water, orange peel, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.
2. Add apple cider; cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until hot. Remove from heat.
3. Add brandy; mix well.
4. Strain evenly into two mugs. Garnish with cinnamon sticks if desired.

Mulled Apple Cider

7. Blitzen’s Bliss. Given that Blitzen is the final reindeer in the lineup, he probably gets knocked around a fair bit by the sleigh over the course of Santa’s travels on Christmas Eve. But once they’re done circumnavigating the globe, Blitzen comes home and has a few of these, and it’s all good. Not only does he feel better, but since they have just 130 calories apiece, he doesn’t feel all bloated for his Christmas dinner the next day.

Total Time: 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:
½ cup water
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 fl. oz. vodka
2 tsp. raw honey
Mint leaves (for garnish; optional)
Pomegranate seeds (for garnish; optional)

Preparation:
1. Place water, pomegranate juice, vodka, and honey in a cocktail shaker filled with ice; shake vigorously for at least 10 seconds, or until well mixed.
2. Strain evenly into two martini glasses. Garnish with mint leaves and pomegranate if desired; serve immediately.

Blitzen's Bliss

8. Santa’s Winter Sangria. Santa really appreciates the cookies and milk. But after hundreds of years, he’s over it. Want to be on the “nice” list next year? Get a little naughty. Leave some sangria by the fireplace for Santa.

Total Time: 4 hr. 10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None
Yield: 10 servings, 4 oz. each

Ingredients:
1 cup fresh satsuma orange juice (about 4 satsumas)
1 (750-ml) bottle fruity red wine
3 fl. oz. Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
3 Tbsp. raw honey
2 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 medium lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 medium lime, cut into 8 wedges
1 cup satsuma orange sections (about 2 satsumas)

Preparation:
1. Combine orange juice, wine, Triple Sec, honey, cloves, cinnamon, lemon, lime, and orange sections in a large pitcher; mix well.
2. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight).

Tips: If you can’t find Satsuma oranges, you can use Valencia or navel oranges.

Sangria for Santa

So if you’d like to have a “cup of cheer” this holiday season, at least now you can enjoy it without having to wear your baggy Santa outfit for the entire month of January. Happy holidays!

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health

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