Feliz Navidad from Mexico!  I hope that this post finds you surrounded by loved ones!  If you wished for snow, I hope Santa delivered it.  I decided to postpone the tips for starting off the new year right until next week, so this week we’re talking about some fun stuff.  

No doubt you’ve attended some holiday parties by now and you still have more to attend or host.  And where there are parties, there are drinks.  Oftentimes these drinks can be delicious, (yay!) but high in calories and high in alcohol (uh oh). 

But have no fear because I’ve done the research for you, and here are my 5 fave holiday cocktails, including a mocktail:

1.Wine spritzer – this is easy, tasty, and a good way to stretch a bottle of wine!  Plus it helps you stay more hydrated.  Win!

-3 oz. aromatic white wine
-1 oz. regular or club soda club soda
-Twist, garnish, or zest with your favorite fruit

  1. Pour wine into a wineglass filled with ice; top off with club soda and bitters. Garnish with orange twist.  Voila!

2.Eggnog – this Christmas classic is traditionally pretty rich, but there are ways to lighten it up!  This recipe is still a conscious indulgence, but if eggnog is one of your holiday traditions, go for this recipe and enjoy mindfully.

-2 large egg yolks
-4 egg whites
-1/3 cup sugar + a bit more
-2 cups 1% low-fat milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Cinnamon to taste
-Nutmeg to taste
-¼ cup white rum

  1. Beat 2 egg yolks until lightened in color.
  2. Add 1/3 cup sugar, beating until dissolved; set aside.
  3. Combine 2 cups 1% low-fat milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 dash each cinnamon and nutmeg in a saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat, and gradually whisk into egg mixture. Return to pot, and cook to 160°. Remove from heat, stir in 1/4 cup white rum, and pour into a bowl; set in the refrigerator.
  5. Beat 4 pasteurized egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form; with mixer running, gradually add 1 tablespoon sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Whisk egg whites into chilled mixture; sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.  Bottoms up!

3.Hot Toddy – this makes me think of being gathered around a cozy, warm fire.  Mmmh!

-1 1/2 oz. of brandy, scotch, or bourbon
-7 oz. hot water
-3/4 tablespoon honey
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-1 star anise, cinnamon stick, or 3-5 cloves
-1-2 thin slices of lemon for garnish

  1. In a heatproof glass, stir together bourbon, hot water, honey, lemon juice, and spices.  Garnish with a lemon and start sippin.

4.Hot Apple Cider – another classic holiday recipe that goes hand in hand with wintertime.  No added sugar thanks to the fresh apple juice!

-4 cups freshly made apple juice – approximately 4-6 apples depending on the quality of your juicer (I’m head over heels for honeycrisp apples so that’s my apple of choice!)
-5 whole cloves
-4 cinnamon sticks
-4 whole cardamom pods
-2 Chinese star anise (optional)
-1-inch piece of fresh ginger
-½ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
-½ orange, thinly slice

  1. Juice apples and place completed juice in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, anise, ginger and lemon zest.
  3. Cover and heat on low-medium heat for 20 minutes. The mixture doesn’t need to boil, so just get it warm, up to around 170F or so.
  4. Add orange slices during the last 5 minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and strain to remove spices and fruits…then enjoy!

5.Veggie Mocktail – nixing the alcohol is another way to cut many calories and sugar…and this recipe is chock full of nutritious ingredients that happens to also look beautiful, red, and totally holiday-esque.

-4-5 lettuce leaves (romaine, spinach, or arugula)
-1/3 English cucumber
-1 stalk celery
-1/3 of a small beet
-2 medium carrots
-1 clove garlic (optional)
-1 pinch of sea salt (optional)
– 3 tomatoes

  1. Juice the vegetables and pour into a large glass.  Add a pinch of sea salt and stir well.  Drink to your health!

Regardless what you sip on, enjoy it responsibly and have a great time.  Always feel free to experiment with the ingredients and consider the recipe a loose guide from which to start.  Be sure to share your favorite light holiday cocktails with me!

Have the most Merry Christmas with those who are dearest to you and cheers!

Laissez les bons temps roulez et bonne santé,

Claire

PS Next week…talking my 5 fave ways to start the New Year off right!

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