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The Skinny on Holiday Cocktails

This December will be the 6th Annual Christmas Celebration with a group of friends. There are a few traditions with this party including the infamous Gunnery Sergeant’s eggnog. There is absolutely nothing that is low-calorie about this drink and it is worth every calorie!  I am already planning for this in my holiday party “food budget”.

How I make sure I stay on track at parties, especially this one: healthy cocktail

  • Make sure I am not hungry before walking into the party– I will try to grab a snack or a meal before heading into an evening holiday party. If I walk in hungry, you can be sure I will find anything that is made with cheese or fried and eat that first.
  • Walk around the party before making my food choices. I get to say hello to people and it allows me time to think about my food choices.
  • Stay hydrated. Between busier schedules and usually less sleep, I first choose a glass of water or sparkling seltzer before filling my glass of eggnog.
  • Don’t drink the punch. I know there is a lot of  alcohol, sugar, and calories in the eggnog. There can be a lot of extra sugar and calories in the punch or mixed drinks too. I would rather have eggnog than punch. If you really like punch, here are some lower calorie options.
  • Walk around with my glass. I am usually a lot more aware of what and how much I am drinking if I keep my drink in my hand.
  • Bring a dessert that is lower in calories like Frozen Chocolate Cheescake bites or Toasted Coconut and Dark Chocolate cookies.

This also means that as I attend other holiday functions, I will  choose lower calorie alcoholic drinks or maybe not even drink anything alcoholic at all. Here are some things to consider as you peruse the drink options at a party:

General Drinks:

  • Juice and sodas are often used as mixers. Try to choose a no-calorie or low calorie options.
  • Cranberry or Pomegranate Juice are great options, make sure it is 100% juice though.
  • Add lemons, limes, orange, or even cranberries to your drink to add some extra flavor.
  • Serve mocktails at your party such as the Cranberry Lime Soda or a non-Alcoholic Sangria


Generally, wine has fewer calories compared to other alcoholic beverage. Red and White wine have the same number of calories (100-125 calories per 5 oz glass).

Liquor and Cocktails:

You can reduce the calories in a mixed drink/cocktail by the following:

  • Use a liquor with fewer calories (vodka or gin over scotch)
  • Decrease the amount of alcohol in the drink
  • Mix a drink with a seltzer or no-calorie sparkling beverage
  • Don’t use flavored liqueurs like Amaretto or Kahlua
  • Add lemons, limes, or herbs instead of simple syrup/sugar
  • Use lots of ice in the glass


Light beers have the least amount of calories (70-125 calories) and IPA and craft beers have the most amount of calories (180-230 calories).


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