Pick Healthier Cocktails for the Holidays

Low Sugar Holiday Cocktail Alternatives

The holidays are notorious for offering rich dishes and sweet treats. But many people don’t even think about the calories consumed from the season’s beverages. This year, skip some of the worst calorie offenders in favor of lower calorie drinks. Check out some of the worst offenders of holiday beverages and what you can drink instead.


Worst Holiday Cocktails


Eggnog is probably the best-known holiday cocktail. You can whip up your own homemade concoction or reach for the carton from the store. While the carton probably has more additives and preservatives than a homemade batch, they both pack a huge caloric wallop. The basic recipe is milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks, which is pretty much like inhaling 15 sugar packets and the saturated fat of at least one Big Mac. Then there is the addition of rum, if you like your eggnog spiked. Needless to say, one serving of eggnog can clock in at upwards of 400 calories. Even lightened-up versions have hefty amounts of sugar in just a four-ounce serving.

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot buttered rum is another popular treat around the holidays. Rum is added to a mixture of butter, sugar, and spices. Some recipes even make the drink a little more decadent by adding ice cream to the mix. Recipes vary and skinny options are possible using butter and sugar substitutes, but the real deal is likely to weigh in at around 300 calories, many of which are fat and sugar.

Brandy Alexander

Brandy Alexander is a mixture of brandy and heavy cream that can add up to close to 300 calories. Many recipes also call for additional creamy liqueur and chocolate syrup that further boosts the calorie count.

Irish Coffee

Irish coffee may be a popular way to close out a holiday party – or wake up the next day, but it’s not really the healthiest option. Irish coffee includes not only Irish cream liqueur, but often includes additional cream and sugar for a rich treat that turns a calorie-free cup of joe into a decadent treat of around 200 plus calories.


Best Holiday Cocktails

Mulled Wine

Mulled wine is winter’s answer to summer’s sangria. Wine is combined with a selection of fruits and spices to create a warming drink. The calories come from the red wine and the fruits you use, but there is no added sugar, making it a good choice for holiday partying with few regrets.

Spiked Cider

Spiked cider can have a lot additional calories from excess sugar; but if you skip the additional sugar, you have a fruity, spicy drink without a lot of wasted calories.


Sangria is a good choice for Christmas in warm climates since it’s basically a chilled version of mulled wine.


Champagne and champagne cocktails are generally lower in calories, approximately 95 calories per glass and 2 grams of sugar. Of course, that depends if you are drinking out of a champagne flute or a red solo cup. A glass of champagne is a good way to make any occasion festive; and many champagne cocktails have minimal ingredients, so they are also a good choice for celebrations.

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