Drinking on a Diet: Ten Low-Cal Holiday Drinks

The holidays are fast approaching and we all know what that means. It’s time once again to break our diets and gorge ourselves on food and drinks. However, sugary drinks can take their toll and create a Santa like belly. This creates a problem.

So, how do you drink this holiday season while maintaining your diet? The quick answer: with low calorie cocktails like these:


10) Winter Snap (160 cal.)


A great drink for Christmas Day, the Winter Snap tastes like a ginger snap cookie and only has 160 calories. Who says you can’t have drinks and dessert?

1 oz ginger syrup (equal parts pureed ginger juice and sugar)
1 oz curacao
1 oz spiced syrup (equal parts water and sugar)
1 1/2 oz vodka

Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.


9) The Fire’s Aglow (194 cal.)


This drink is for people who want a manlier cocktail this holiday season. Each drink has 194 calories and looks like something you’d get at a speakeasy.

1/2 oz spiced syrup (equal parts water and sugar. Let it sit in a closed container with clove and cinnamon so that the syrup infuses with flavor)
1/2 oz Grand Marnier
2 oz Bourbon of your choice
1 cinnamon stick for garnish

Mix all the ingredients into a glass and add a stick of cinnamon as a garnish.


8) Un Uomo Del Mondo (low sugar)


The name is Italian for “Man of the World” and is another strong drink for the holiday season. It takes five minutes to make and has low amounts of sugar.

1/4 oz orgeat syrup (almond syrup)
1/2 oz campari
2 oz bourbon

Add all the ingredient into a glass and stir.


7) The Ultimate Egg Nog (160 cal.)


Egg Nog is a staple of the holidays. The problem is Egg Nog tends to be high in sugar and calories. This version of the classic cocktail uses vanilla chai tea soy milk and honey water to keep sugar and calories low. In total, the Ultimate Egg Nog has 160 calories and you even get some dark chocolate.

1 oz vanilla chai tea soy milk
1/4 oz honey water (equal parts honey and water)
1 egg white
1 1/2 spiced rum like Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
Extra dark chocolate for garnish

Combine the egg and all the liquid ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled glass. Garnish with dark chocolate.


6) Hot Apple Pie (181 cal.)


What’s holiday time without some apple cider? This variation on hard cider has 181 calories and tastes like what else but a hot apple pie. The heat in the cider causes the alcohol to evaporate faster, creating a stronger smell and taste.

1 oz apple cider
1/8 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz agave nectar
1 1/2 oz spiced rum like Sailor Jerry’s Spiced Rum
1 cinnamon stick

In the microwave:
Heat cider first, then stir in lemon juice and agave nectar. Add rum and grate cinnamon on top

On stove:
Heat lemon, agave and cider together. Pour in rum and grate cinnamon on top


5) Sugar-Free Whiskey Sour (106 cal.)


A popular cocktail of whiskey drinkers, Whiskey Sours taste great with the mixture of sweet and sour, but contains a little too much sugar. This take on the cocktail has 3 grams of carbohydrates and 106 calories per serving. Best part, it takes only 5 minutes to make.

1.5 oz bourbon
1.5 oz lemon juice
1.5 oz water
3 tablespoons of artificial sweetener

Put the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a glass. Traditionally, whiskey sours are garnished with a Maraschino cherry, which contain two grams of carbs each. As an alternative, you can use a small lemon wedge.


4) Sugar-Free White Russian (250 cal.)


A mainstay of “The Dude” from “The Big Lebowski,” White Russians are an easy drink to make, but the coffee liquor can contain almost as much sugar as an 8 oz glass of soda. The good news, there are alternative liquors like Da Vinci’s Sugar-Free Kahlua-Flavored Syrup. This version of the White Russian has 1 gram of carbohydrate, one gram of protein and 250 calories.

1.5 oz vodka
1.5 oz cream
1.5 oz Da Vinci’s Sugar-Free Kahlua-Flavored Syrup

Mix all the ingredients in a glass and serve.


3) Sangria Sparkler (100 cal.)


Sometimes people want a lighter cocktail during the holiday season, especially if you’re somewhere warm. For these people there is the SAngria Sparkler, which has 100 calories, 9 grams of carbohydrates and 0 grams of fat.

1 bottle dry red wine
1 cup light orange juice
1/4 cup brandy or cognac
1/4 cup orange liqueur
2 tablespoons sugar
2 medium oranges, sliced
2 cups club soda
crushed ice and orange peals (optional)

In a large pitcher combine all the ingredients except for club soda and chill for 2 hours. After chilling, add the club soda and serve. The pitcher will hold a total of 12 servings.


2) Guiness Draught (126 cal.)


Sometimes you don’t want a cocktail, but instead you want a beer. Not any beer, though. You want something with flavor and is low in calories. For you there is Guiness Draught. A 12 ounce glass of Guiness has 126 calories and is richer in taste compared to a light beer. In comparison, a Budweiser has 145 calories.

There is MGD 64 and Budweiser Select which have lower calories, but they only contain 2.8% and 3.2% alcohol, respectively. So, you’ll have to drink more to get a holiday buzz.


1) Jalisco Bramble (120 cal.)


For tequila lovers there is the Jalisco Bramble. It has low sugar content and is only 120 calories. What’s more, it can be a perfect starter drink before going to something heavier.

1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz grapefruit juice
1/2 oz agave nectar
1 dial ginger (a piece of ginger cut about a half inch thick)
4 blackberries (sliced up)
1 dash Fee’s Peach bitters
1 1/2 oz tequila

Pour lime juice, grapefruit juice and agave into a tin. Add blackberries, bitter and tequila. Shake with ice and strain into a glass, add crushed ice and garnish with blackberries.


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