When preparing festive drinks for the holidays, it is possible to reduce a drink’s calorie content without sacrificing flavor.
In the past couple of years, several new product lines have been introduced that offer a variety of low calorie alcoholic beverages that you can use to prepare your favorite holiday cocktails. Celebrities such as Bethenny Frankel and her Skinnygirl products are making mixed drinks more popular among the calorie conscious crowd.
Here are some easy recipes that you can prepare for your guests this holiday season. With New Year’s right around the corner, it’s not too early to start planning your party menu now.
This pomegranate drink is really easy to make and only has two ingredients:
1 part pomegranate liqueur 3 parts champagne
Mix liqueur and champagne together and serve.
Wild Berry Cosmopolitan
Not only is this drink delicious and fruity, it is pretty too.
3 wild berry herbal tea bags 2 tbsp. sugar 2 tbsp. pomegranate juice 2 tbsp. vodka 1 tbsp. lime juice 1 tbsp. orange liqueur
Raspberries and blackberries (optional)
Heat 1 cup boiling water and pour the boiling water over the tea bags. Let the tea bags steep for at least 5 minutes.
Remove the tea bags from the water and stir in the sugar until the sugar dissolves. Place the tea in the refrigerator to chill.
Fill a martini shaker with ice and add the chilled tea, pomegranate juice, vodka, lime juice, and orange liqueur. Shake well and then pour into martini glasses. Garnish with fresh raspberries or blackberries, if desired.
This easy cocktail is full of flavor and low calorie too.
1 1/2 oz. vodka 4 oz. cranberry juice 1 oz. grapefruit juice Lime wedge (optional)
Pour vodka over ice and then add the cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. If desired, you can garnish the glass with a lime wedge.
This mulled wine is an easy variation of mulled cider, another holiday favorite. Letting this wine simmer on the stove for a couple of hours not only enhances the flavor of the wine, but also will make your home smell wonderful.
1 bottle low-calorie red wine 2-3 cinnamon sticks 1 tbsp. whole cloves 1 orange peel
Pour the bottle of wine into a large sauce pan. Using a piece of cheesecloth, bundle the spices and orange peel up together and tie the top of the cheesecloth together. Place the spice bundle in the wine and simmer for 30 minutes or longer before serving. Serve with additional orange slices if desired.
Spiked Apple Cider
If you like hot buttered rum, then give this lower calorie version a try instead.
1 part rum 2 parts apple cider 3-4 cinnamon sticks 1 tbsp. whole cloves 1 orange, sliced
Combine all of the ingredients in a large sauce pan and simmer for at least 30 minutes. You can combine the spices in cheesecloth as in the previous recipe, or you can just place them in the pan and remove them later (or use them for extra garnish). When ready to serve, remove the orange slices and garnish the glasses with additional fresh orange slices, if desired.
If you are mixing up your own recipes for the holidays, keep in mind that rum, gin, and vodka are in the low end of the calorie range for hard liquor.
Avoid cream, soda, and fruit juice that will add many unneeded calories to your drinks. Club soda is calorie free, and if you use tonic water, make sure to get diet tonic water and you will not be adding any extra calories to your mixed drinks. You can also create your own wine spritzer by adding 1 part club soda to 3 parts wine.
Create a new holiday tradition this year by trying out some low-calorie versions of your favorite holiday drinks. Just because a drink is low calorie does not mean it won’t look and taste great too.
Natalie Parker is a professional blogger that shares tips and advice on health, training and nutrition. He writes for Fitness19.com, a leading fitness facility with affordable month to month memberships.