Ready to raise a glass for the holidays without raising your calories? From eggnog to a 70-calorie cosmo, you can make it light, festive, and still enjoyable.
Check out these lighter versions of seasonal favorites:
A healthier eggnog: “If you want to make healthier eggnog, use egg substitute instead of eggs, fat-free milk instead of whole milk, sugar substitute in place of sugar; and leave out the alcohol,” says Jim White, an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesman.
Festive Pomegranate Champagne : One part liqueur and 3 parts champagne, this recipe rings in the holiday with 165 calories per serving and less than a gram of fat.
Cinna-Nilla Hot Cocoa : This recipe cuts fat and calories by using nonfat dry milk powder and fat-free French vanilla nondairy creamer. Calories: 70 per serving.
Liquor: When it comes to hard liquor, gin, rum, or vodka will run you 50-60 calories per ounce. One ounce of crème de menthe, on the other hand, is 185 calories.
Champagne, sherry, and port: All three are lighter choices than a glass of wine or light beer. It doesn’t hurt that they look festive.
70-calorie cosmo : Replace the vodka with shochu, a smooth Japanese spirit. Pour 2 ounces, and splashes of diet cranberry juice, fresh lime juice, and orange juice into a martini shaker.
Light gin and tonic : Replace the tonic with sugar-free tonic, or go even lighter by using seltzer water and a splash of lemon or lime juice to keep it tart but smart. Only 75 calories!
Mimosa: Kick up the bubbles and make it less sweet. Use 3 ounces of orange juice instead of 6 to save 42 calories.
Other tricks: Dilute your cocktail or wine with club soda, White says. A wine spritzer, for example, typically calls for adding an ounce of club soda to 3 ounces of wine.
Want to stay under 100 calories per serving? Stick to a 12-ounce light beer or a 4-ounce glass of white wine.
Holiday Drinking Tips
Alcohol adds empty calories, White says. It also makes you more likely to make poor food choices.
- Have a healthy snack before drinking, so you don’t get tipsy right away.
- Decide how many alcoholic beverages you will have in advance, and stick to that number.
- Remember that “drinking in moderation” means no more than 1 drink per day for women and up to 2 drinks per day for men.
- Know how to read the label on a liquor bottle. The higher the alcohol content, the higher the calories.
One last, but classic, piece of advice: “Remember to keep everything in moderation,” White says.