Stephanie S. Saunders

A Variety of Cocktails
by Beachbody

Who doesn’t like a good cocktail during the holidays? Sure, spending 3 days straight with your extended family might have something to do with it, but beside that, almost everyone likes to let loose at this time of year. And there are plenty of occasions to do so. From the office holiday party, to the lighting of the menorah, to the various “Eve” and “Morning” festivities, there’s no shortage of celebrations in which to involve libations.

Unfortunately, most holiday cocktails tend to give the gifts of too much fat and too many calories. One cup of eggnog has 343 calories and 19 grams of fat (see this week’s recipe below for a lighter version)! It’s a meal in a cup, with a ton of added fat and sugar. Then, there are the hot chocolates, mulled ciders, and traditional grogs that chase away the winter chill but help hold on the pounds. And we can’t forget about all of the themed mixed drinks that make every party a bit more fun, and our waistlines a bit more full. So how do we enjoy the fun of the holiday season without having to hide behind bulky sweaters till July? Here are 8 fun drink ideas that are lower in fat, calories, and sugar than their original versions.

Pumpkin Pie Martini

Yeah, I know. It’s as good as it sounds. There are several pumpkin liqueurs on the market, which are convenient, but add a ton of calories. By using the actual squash, you get the flavor without the calories—and, believe it or not, a little fiber in your drink.

  • 6 oz. canned unsweetened pumpkin
  • 6 oz. vanilla-flavored vodka
  • 4 oz. fat-free condensed milk
  • 4 oz. unsweetened almond milk (or fat-free milk)
  • 4 Tbsp. pumpkin pie seasoning
  • Ice cubes
  • 6 crushed reduced-fat vanilla wafers

Place vodka and pumpkin in bowl, and stir until pumpkin has melted. Stir in condensed milk and almond milk. Add seasoning. Dip rim of glass in crushed vanilla wafers. Pour liquid over ice into glass and enjoy. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
105 2 grams 1 gram 6 grams <1 gram <1 gram
Grog in Wine Glass
by Beachbody


Its rich history dates back 400 years, when it used to be rationed out to sailors at sea. The big babies wouldn’t drink their scurvy-preventing dose of lemon juice straight, so the powers-that-be dressed it up with a little rum. Since the added ingredients only serve to make it that much tastier, it stands to reason that being “three sheets to the wind” was fairly common.

  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 4 Tbsp. of sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 whole orange peel
  • 4 oz. golden rum
  • 10 oz. water
  • 4 cinnamon sticks

In a pan, combine the lemon juice and peel with the sugar, cloves, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and water. Let simmer for 15 minutes, and then slowly stir in rum. Pour though a fine strainer into mugs, and serve each mug with a cinnamon stick. Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
118 <1 gram <1 gram 14 grams <1 gram <1 gram

Gingerbread Toddy

In cold weather, a hot drink can warm you up faster than a Snuggie® and an electric blanket. This hot toddy will get you warm, and make you think you are eating gingerbread cookies in the process. Yummy.

  • 1 oz. brandy
  • 1 oz. gingerbread liqueur
  • 1 lemon wedge
  • 8 oz. hot water
  • cinnamon stick (optional)

Pour ingredients into a preheated mug in the order listed. Serve garnished with a cinnamon stick to stir. Serves 1.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
155 <1 gram <1 gram 11 grams <1 gram <1 gram
Cup of Hot Chocolate
by Beachbody

Holiday Hot Chocolate

You can do this the easy way and buy no-sugar-added hot chocolate in packages. But you’re no slacker. You can make homemade hot chocolate, which makes your house smell amazing, and impresses your friends and family.

  • 4 cups evaporated fat-free milk
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup baking chocolate
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or natural sugar substitute, like agave
  • 6 oz. Frangelico® liqueur

Combine evaporated milk, fat-free milk, chocolate, vanilla, and sugar in pan and heat over stove on low. Stir in Frangelico. Pour into mugs and serve with a small candy cane. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
340 16 grams 2 grams 45 grams 6 grams 3 grams

Peppermint Martini

This is, perhaps, the simplest and tastiest low-calorie cocktail out there. Just three ingredients and a bit of candy cane. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

  • 9 oz. vanilla vodka
  • 9 oz. peppermint schnapps
  • 3 oz. fat-free condensed milk
  • Ice
  • Mini candy canes

Place all liquids in a martini shaker with ice. Shake and pour into glasses. Serve with a candy cane. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (per serving; not counting the candy cane)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
232 1 gram <1 gram 13 grams <1 gram <1 gram
Mulled Cider, Orange Slices, Cinnamon Sticks, and Cloves
by Beachbody

Mulled Apple Cider

Nothing makes a house smell more like Christmas than some mulled apple cider—except those overpriced candles that they constantly advertise on TV. And this tastes better, so take that, Glade®!

  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1 navel orange, peeled and sliced crosswise
  • A 2-inch piece of peeled fresh ginger, cut into 6 slices
  • 4 oz. light brandy

In a large saucepan, combine cider, cinnamon stick, cloves, orange and ginger, and simmer the mixture for 20 minutes. Pour brandy into pan. Strain through a fine strainer into a heatproof pitcher, and serve the mulled cider warm. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
202 <1 gram <1 gram 37 grams <1 gram <1 gram

Blitzen’s Bliss

Given Blitzen is the final reindeer in the lineup, he probably gets knocked around a fair bit by the sleigh over the course of Christmas Eve. But once he has circumvented the globe, he comes home, has a few of these, and it’s all good. Not only does he feel better, but since they’re just 130 calories apiece, he doesn’t feel all bloated for his Christmas dinner the next day.

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • Juice of two limes
  • 8 oz. vodka
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract
  • 12 ice cubes
  • 6 mini candy canes
  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint

Place all liquids in shaker with ice. Shake and pour into individual glasses. Top with sprinkle of mint and candy cane. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (per serving; not counting candy cane)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
130 <1 gram <1 gram 11 grams <1 gram <1 gram

Sangria for Santa

Santa really appreciates the cookies and milk. But after hundreds of years, he’s over it. Want to be on the “nice” list next year? Then get a little naughty. Leave some sangria for Santa by the fireplace.

  • 10 green grapes, halved
  • 4 fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 peach, pitted and sliced
  • 1 bottle of white or red wine
  • 1-1/2 cups white grape juice
  • 1/2 cup brandy
  • 2 sprigs fresh mint

Fill a large glass pitcher halfway with ice; add fruit and wine. Add juice and brandy; stir gently. Stir in mint. Let sit in refrigerator for 2 hours before serving. Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (per serving):

Nutritional Information (per serving)
Calories Protein Fiber Carbs Fat Total Saturated Fat
183 1 gram 1 gram 14 grams <1 gram <1 gram

So if this holiday season finds you having a “cup of cheer,” at least you can enjoy it and not have to wear your Santa outfit for the month of January.   Stay fit and happy!!

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