Tis the Season to be Jolly
But does jolly have to equal fat? Not if you know what to avoid, what to limit, and what to substitute.
Holiday cocktails. So yummy. So tempting. So full of sugar and fat.
It’s easy to fa-la-la-la-la yourself right up the scale and out of that heartbreaker dress or the stand-by suit pants you have to squeeze into for the party. What to do?
Cocktails to Avoid
Some cocktails have more fat and calories than others. If you don’t want to over-splurge this holiday season, avoid cocktails with:
- Cream-based liquors (not clear, dairy based, like Baily’s)
- Heavy cream, Half-n-Half, whole milk
- High amounts of sugar: Alcohol contains high amounts of sugar as it is. I hesitate to add more sugar to cocktail recipes. If you see a recipe you HAVE to try, at least substitute Agave nectar or Maple syrup for cane sugar.
Cocktails to Limit
Not all bad, but not something I’d drink all night. A true cocktail, have one! Limit cocktails with:
- Large amounts of fruit juice
- Added Agave nectar or maple syrup
Common denominator? Sugar. That equals calories, which turns to fat when they aren’t burned.
Cocktails to Choose
Cocktails that have:
- Clear transparent color/something you can see through
- Fresh herbs
- Fresh lime or lemon juice (instead of sweet fruit juices)
- Just/mostly alcohol – mixers add calories and sugar. Make drinks that contain mostly alcohol with small amounts of added fresh lime juice or a half shot of cranberry juice. Yes, they’re stronger. Don’t need to drink as much. Portion and calorie control built in!
- Red wine – we know red wine has health benefits (in moderation). Woo-hoo!
What Do I Drink?
I’m a purist. I don’t like stuff mixed in with my alcohol. Keep your sugar and bad fats in your mixers. Give me the good stuff.
- Red wine, usually a Red Zin
- A real martini. 95% Gin (Bluecoat please). 5% Vermouth. 3 Olives.
- A real margherita. Tequila. Cointreau. A half shot of fresh lime juice. That’s it.
- Maker’s Mark 46 on ice. For a special occasion.
I may sip something to taste it, but I’d rather drink my water and forego alcohol than waste calories on something I don’t want. I always drink the good stuff. Speaking of which, try my Guilt-free, Richest Hot Cocoa Recipe Ever Recipe.
Two Cocktail Recipes from My P90X Newsletter (in the Limit Box)
- 10 green grapes, halved
- 4 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1 peach, pitted and sliced
- 1 bottle white or red wine
- 1-1/2 cups white grape juice
- 1/2 cup brandy
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
Place fruit and wine in a large glass pitcher. Add juice and brandy and stir gently. Add mint and stir gently once more. Chill in refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve straight or over ice.
Makes 6 servings / 183 Calories / < 1 g fat
- 2 cups pomegranate juice
- Juice of 2 limes
- 8 oz. vodka
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract
- 12 ice cubes
- 4 Tbsp. chopped mint leaves
- 6 miniature candy canes
Place first four ingredients in shaker with ice. Shake and pour into individual glasses. Sprinkle each with mint and garnish with candy cane.
Makes 6 servings / 130 Calories / < 1 g fat
Any takers? Give them a try and let me know what you think. Do you have any healthy cocktail tips to share with me?