Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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8 Tips to Healthier Holiday Drinks + Recipes
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Spending time with friends and family is a great way to spend the holidays, and for many of you that means getting together and sharing a few cocktails.  Holiday drinking can be fun and enjoyable but for those of us who are trying to watch our waistlines this holiday season, even having a few drinks can set us back a few notches.  It’s important to remember that all alcoholic drinks contain calories and these can add up very quickly!  But don’t fret, there is still a way to enjoy a few holiday drinks without overdoing it!

Tips to follow when choosing drinks:

1. Try to keep your limit to no more than 1-2 drinks for women or 2-3 drinks for men, any more and the benefits of moderate drinking is thrown out the window

2. Avoid making drinks with heavily sweetened mixers which contain a significant amount of calories from simple carbohydrates

3. If drinking beer, choose a light beer

4. Drink out of smaller glasses or tall, skinny glasses

5. Mix drinks with seltzer or water as they add no additional calories

6. Measure out alcohol content precisely instead of guessing

7. When making mixed drinks try loading your glass up with ice to cut the amount of alcohol and other mixers you will use

8. Drink a glass of water between beverages to fill you up and help rehydrate your body

Candy Cane Martini

1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka

1/2 ounce peppermint schnapps

1 ounce seltzer water

crushed candy canes for garnish

Rim a martini glass with crushed candy canes. Mix vodka, schnapps, and seltzer with ice in a cocktail shaker; strain into prepared glass.

Champagne and Pomegranate

For a new twist on champagne with strawberries, try tossing a few pomegranate seeds into your glass!  Add a dash of pomegranate juice if you want the whole drink to turn a nice red color.

Almond Milk “Eggnog”

2 Cups unsweetened almond milk (or organic low fat milk)

1/2 Cup unsweetened light coconut milk

1/4 Cup honey

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of nutmeg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 banana

3 oz rum or brandy (optional)

Directions: Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender. Chill and serve.  Sprinkle individual servings with cinnamon if desired.

Wine Spritzer

4 Ounces Red Wine

4 Ounces Seltzer Water

Holiday Cheer

4 Ounces Champagne

4 Ounces Low Calorie Cranberry Juice


1 Lime cut into wedges

1 Lemon cut into wedges

1 Orange cut into wedges

10 Maraschino cherries

1 Apple cut into slices

1 Cup orange juice

1/4 Cup brandy

1/4 Cup triple sec

1/2 Cup white rum

1 Bottle (750ml) dry red wine

Directions: Mix alcohol together in large bowl with orange juice. Cut all fruits into thin wedges and add to bowl. Refrigerate overnight and serve chilled.

Mulled Wine

1.5 Liter Bottle Dry Red Wine

Zest from 1 Lemon and 1 Orange

1 Tablespoon cinnamon

½ Tablespoon cloves

½ Tablespoon ginger

½ Tablespoon Nutmeg

Honey to taste

Directions: Pour wine into large saucepan and cook over low heat. Add lemon and orange zest to wine. Place spices in empty tea satchel. Put satchel into saucepan and brew mixture for 30 minutes. Add honey to taste. Pour wine through strainer and serve in heatproof glass. Garnish with sliced orange or cinnamon stick.

Remember, healthy drinking can be a part of your holiday plans.  If you take the time to plan ahead and remember to drink in moderation, you won’t have to worry about putting on too many holiday calories!

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