The Best and Worst Holiday Cocktails

Make better-for-you choices for this holiday season by learning which cocktails to avoid.
Eggnog with Spices Sprinkled on Top in a White Mug

Eggnog 1

Eggnog with Spices Sprinkled on Top in a White Mug

©Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm

Food Stylist: Jamie Kimm

During the holidays, lots of liquid calories are guzzled in the form of delicious holiday cocktails. Before you let too many of these calories hit your waistline, check out which cocktails you’re better off avoiding and a few you can sip (almost) guilt-free.

Low-Fat Eggnog (pictured at top)

Lighten up this holiday classic by using nonfat milk and a combo of eggs and egg whites for only 90 calories per serving.

Elle Kreiger - Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

Elle Kreiger - Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail

Photo by: Adrian Mueller ©2012, Adrian Mueller /, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Adrian Mueller, 2012, Adrian Mueller /, Cooking Channel, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Champagne flutes provide portion control, so you can’t pour more than 6 fluid ounces into a glass (that’s if you fill it to the tippy top). In this cocktail, only 4 fluid ounces of champagne is mixed with a splash of pomegranate juice for 95 calories per serving.

An even ratio of Prosecco, OJ and pomegranate juice gives this libation a boost of vitamin C for only 110 calories.

Mulled Wine

Mulled Wine

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Apple cider and wine, combined with very low-cal herbs and spices, make up this holiday favorite. Just be careful how much honey or other sweetener you use. This recipe calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey per person and has only 160 calories per serving.

Ellie Krieger's White Sangria or Summer Healthy Grilling as seen on Food Network

Ellie Krieger's White Sangria or Summer Healthy Grilling as seen on Food Network

Photo by: Stephen Johnson ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Stephen Johnson, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Great for parties, sangria is made with wine, fresh fruit and 100 percent fruit juice. Opt for white wine to help prevent any annoying red wine stains.

Spiked Eggnog

This combo of eggs, cream and sugar, plus a shot of booze, tallies up to close to 450 calories per serving.

White Russian

Cream and coffee-flavored liqueur spiked with vodka and poured into an oversized glass make a White Russian a calorie bomb of close to 500 calories per serving.


On average, there are around 625 calories in this chocolatey libation, thanks to a combo of Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, heavy cream and vodka.


A sugary mix and lots of alcohol rack up over 600 calories in this cocktail. Other types of cocktails made from sugary mixes should also be avoided.

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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