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Seasonal Diet Tips

Explore our expert knowledge on topics such as healthy eating during the holidays, and how to live into a happier and healthier you in the New Year. Discover tips and tricks on how to avoid weight gain at holiday parties and while on vacation.

How to Enjoy Healthy Alcoholic Drinks this Holiday Season

Holidays bring rich foods to the table and, more often than not, alcoholic beverages. Easy worry of derailing health and weight loss goals with these healthy holiday drink recipe ideas!

How to Enjoy Healthy Alcoholic Drinks this Holiday Season


Holidays are a time to gather with friends and family. This includes around the dinner table with rich, flavorful foods. Oh, and alcoholic beverages are also likely pairings during such celebrations. 

While cheersing with loved ones is welcomed, you may be worried about derailing your weight loss efforts up until this point. But, unlike popular belief, drinking alcohol can come with unhealthy strings attached! 

Cut the fear of compromising health and weight loss goals with bistroMD's healthy, holiday drink guide. Also featured… Holiday drink recipes, including healthier variations to those often relished during the holiday season!

Healthy Alcoholic Drinks 101

If drinking this holiday season, there are numerous tips to do so in a healthy manner. 

First off, eating a balanced meal before or while drinking can slow down the absorption of alcohol. Also, drink water with all alcoholic beverages to help keep the body hydrated. 

Healthier drinking can also be achieved by understanding the calories of alcoholic drinks. All alcohol sources provide calories, 7 calories per gram to be exact. Encouraged serving sizes and calorie content include:

• Beer: 150 calories per 12-ounces of regular or light beer or 8 to 9-ounces of malt beer

• Wine: 125 calories per 5-ounces of white wine or red wine

• Liquor: 100 calories per 1.5-ounce shot of 80-proof spirits, including vodka, rum, tequila, and whiskey

The calorie content of alcohol is also dependent on the quantity and quality of the alcoholic beverage(s) as a whole. 

To control quantity, men are encouraged to not exceed two alcoholic drinks per day. Women are advised to limit intake to one serving. Sticking to the suggested intake not only keeps calories in balance but reduces the risk of harmful consequences to health. 

In regards to the quality of the chosen drink, be mindful of added mixers. Besides, mixers commonly added to liquor can truly accelerate the sugar content. For instance, sodas, juices, and syrups can add hundreds of unwanted and empty calories to mixed drinks. 

One can reduce both added sugar and calories by limiting soft drinks, juices, and other concentrated simple syrups and sweeteners. Preparing these delicious healthy, holiday alcoholic drinks can also keep calories in check!

BistroMD's Low-Calorie Holiday Drinks

Desiring a cocktail but unsure of how to craft a healthy, yet still tasty drink? Look no further than these healthified cocktails straight from the bistroMD bar!

1. Purely Pomegranate Mojito

Transform a traditional mint and lime mojito into a festive cocktail quite festive to the eyes! Splashing with pomegranate juice offers a rich, eye-appealing ruby red color along with powerful antioxidants. 

BistroMD's purely pomegranate mojito recipe supplies a mere 90 calories and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit. 

2. Fizzy Blueberry Mint Cocktail

This blueberry mint cocktail recipe uses simple ingredients, but they are full-bodied in flavor! Bring together the fresh zests of lime, orange, blueberries, and mint this holiday season. 

The holiday drink recipe is featured on the rocks, but feel free to blend it with ice as desired. 

3. Guilt-Free Frozen Strawberry Margarita

Conventional margaritas generally contain high amounts of sugar and pack on unwanted calories. In fact, just one 8-ounce margarita can provide upwards of 500 calories! 

But sipping on bistroMD's guilt-free frozen strawberry margarita will take you to a tropical destination during the winter months. Oh, and keep the anticipated holiday weight off!

4. The Golden Apple Drink

The golden apple puts a healthier spin on alcoholic beverages on a favored classic while only providing 146 calories per serving. Truly, the warm flavors of spiced rum, butterscotch, and sparkling apple cider are the ones to fall for!

Add sliced apples and cinnamon sticks are optional to elevate its appeal. 

Additional Healthy Alcoholic Drinks

In addition to bartending bistroMD's holiday drink recipes, try these healthy options to enjoy at that holiday party!

5. Crockpot Mulled Wine

While mulled wine can be packed with innumerable grams of sugar, one can tighten ingredients without sacrificing flavor. Simmering in a large slow cooker also makes it ideal for serving up a larger holiday or Christmas party.

Simply pour and stir the following ingredients in a large crockpot: 

• Two bottles of red wine
• 1/2 cup brandy
• 1/4 cup maple syrup
• 4 whole cloves
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 1 Tbsp nutmeg
• Orange and lemon peels

Cover and heat on the low for about an hour then lower the heat to warm. Pour through a strainer then ladle the mulled wine into mugs. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and an orange wedge.

Really, making that classic winter cocktail just got easier and a simple glass of wine just got tastier! 

6. Hot Toddy and 4 Delicious Variations 

Sipping on a hot toddy has been utilized as a natural cold remedy for decades, and for much reason! The components of warm herbal tea, lemon, and honey are sure to soothe even a stubborn sore throat. 

But in sickness and in health, these healthy hot toddy recipes are sure to please this cool, holiday season! Delicious flavor variations include herbal, basil, orange, and chai toddies. 

7. Peppermint Chocolate Martini

Hot chocolate is not the only chocolate fan favorite during the holidays. A healthified peppermint chocolate martini offers a unique twist to a traditional chocolate martini.

How? The healthy alcoholic drink uses tea bags to overall calorie content while adding depth to its flavor profile.

Additional featured healthy chocolate cocktails include a chocolate and citron cosmo and cherry chocolate espresso martini. 

8. Skinny Spiked Eggnog

Eggnog is a holiday classic, though the high fat and calorie content is not so waist-friendly. This does not mean giving up it, though!

Lighten up and enjoy that favorite with this skinny spiked eggnog recipe without an ounce of guilt!

9. Blood Orange Mimosas

Whether hosting an extravagant brunch or simply cozying up to a small breakfast, guests will love these blood orange mimosas. 

Simply pour 1/4 cup of blood orange juice in champagne flutes and top with favorite dry sparkling wine. Garnish with fresh blood orange slices as a final elegant touch.

10. Bloody Mary

A Bloody Mary is also brunch favorite and considered one of the healthiest drinks related to its high lycopene content. While not a common holiday drink recipe, a Bloody Mary is festive to satisfy company and nutritious enough to please health goals.

11. Winter Sangria

Winter sangria is sure to warm you up during the fall and winter seasons! All credit to the festive flavors of apples, pomegranate, cranberries, clementine, and a hint of rosemary.

12. Christmas Cocktail Cosmo

Thanks to the use of pomegranate, that classic Cosmo just got a holiday facelift! This Christmas Cosmo is a low-calorie vodka drink, featuring the fresh hints of pomegranate, cranberry, orange, and lime.

13. Hot Cocoa

Do not leave out non-drinkers and kiddos! Sip on hot cocoa - a fan-favorite, non-alcoholic holiday drink. 

Have fun experimenting with various hot cocoa flavors, including Mexican hot chocolate and dark chocolate mint.

The Recap on Holiday Drink Recipes

If trying to lose weight or sustain healthier habits during the holidays, know you can have your holiday alcoholic drink and health, too. Besides, the holidays should be a time filled with joy rather than stress around backtracking health goals.

Like any time of the year, keep portion and serving sizes in check. Also, prepare and enjoy the above healthy holiday drink recipes - your tastebuds and health will thank you!

Sarah Asay's Photo
Written By Sarah Asay, RDN. Published on December 13, 2016. Updated on October 12, 2021.

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