Cheers! Here's to Healthier Cocktails for the Holidays

Cheers to these great recipes for healthy holiday cocktails and tips on how to lighten up your favorite drinks!


Cocktail hour

It's holiday time, and chances are, cocktails are flowing. If you're not careful, one festive drink can tip the scales at over 400 calories. If you choose to kick back over several, you’ll be gulping more than half your recommended calories for the day (not to mention the bad hangover)! There are ways to slim down your favorite holiday cocktails – here are simple tricks to do so.

5 Ways to Slim Your Cocktail
  • Look for liquor with a lower proof (alcoholic strength). It has fewer calories per fluid ounce.
  • Use smaller glasses for your cocktails to trim portions.
  • Create drinks without prepackaged mixers, which add a boatload of extra calories from sugar. Instead, mix alcohol with seltzer or splash of 100 percent fruit juice.
  • Measure how much you pour by using a shot glass or jigger. Aim for 1 shot of alcohol per drink.
  • Add sliced fruit (like lemons and oranges), or muddle fresh berries or fresh herbs (like mint, cilantro or rosemary) to punch up the flavor while adding few calories.
5 Cocktails for 250 Calories or Less

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy , 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Enjoy Tyler's delicious cocktail made from four ingredients. Each glass has fewer than 250 calories.

Photo by: Brian Kennedy ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Brian Kennedy , 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Warming winter flavors like cloves, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg jazz up this cocktail.

Photo by: Stephen Murello

Stephen Murello

With a combo of vodka, butterscotch schnapps, apple cider and lemon juice, and a garnish of crushed graham crackers and an apple slice, this cocktail is sure to be the buzz of any holiday party!



Food Stylist: Susan Spungen Prop Stylist: Pamela Duncan Silver

Photo by: Con Poulos ©Con Poulos

Con Poulos , Con Poulos

Spiked cider is always a hit at any holiday shindig.



Combine dark rum with ginger beer, then add a splash of lime and vanilla extract for that extra-special zing.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.

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