It’s the holiday season again! Which means it’s time to eat, drink, and be merry, right? But can you drink merrily while still being healthy? Yes! It’s not as daunting as one might think.
One of the easiest ways to turn up the healthy-holiday cheer (and turn down the holiday hangover) is to replace alcoholic and sugary cocktails with mocktails. Try these 5 flavorful non-alcoholic drink ideas to fill your cup with cheer, without filling your body with too much sugar or added fat.
Mulled cider is a warming favorite. Cut back on the sweetness but diluting 100% apple cider with a bit of water. Try 4oz of cider with 3oz of water. Adjust to your taste. Heat them together with over the stovetop with cinnamon sticks, star anise, orange or lemon peel, and a few cloves. Once simmering, skim out the spices, pour into a mug, and enjoy.
Cranberry “New” Fashioned Mocktail
Sure, cranberries are a health-promoting fruit bursting with antioxidants. But traditional fruity cocktails can pack a punch of calories from mixers and alcohol. This drink is a seasonal nod to the flavors of an old fashioned.
Freeze cranberry juice into ice cubes. Muddle a few cranberries in your glass, fill your glass with sparkling water, add a splash of 100% orange juice, and a splash of spiced herbal tea. Add a couple of the juice ice cubes, and garnish with a few floating cranberries.
Guiltless Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is a perfect choice while holiday shopping but coffee shop hot chocolates are loaded with more than sugar than you should have in a day! Make one at home to savor the flavor without all the extra sugar.
Start by warming 8oz of your preferred milk in a saucepan over the stove, add 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, add 1 ½ tablespoons sugar, a pinch of salt, and a dash of vanilla extra. Wisk until combined. Don’t let it boil! You can also add a pinch of cinnamon, a splash of black coffee or ½ teaspoon instant coffee, or a 1/8 teaspoon of peppermint extract for an extra special wintertime riff of on an old favorite.
Herbal Tea Mocktails
There are so many flavorful blends of herbal teas that are perfect for getting you in the holiday mood without giving you any added sugar or calories. Look for ginger, peppermint, hibiscus, green, cranberry, pumpkin spice, and citrus spice tea blends in your local shop.
Note: Always read the ingredient label. The ingredient should list the spices, herbs, flowers, and leaves that were used in the blended tea. Be sure there are no added sweeteners.
Brew tea per the package directions, let cool, and then mix with soda water, ice, a touch of agave nectar, and garnish with mint, cinnamon sticks, or citrus fruits for a refreshing tea mocktail.
A fermented beverage with plenty of health-supportive benefits, kombucha is the perfect base for a fizzy, healthy mocktail.
Let the flavor of your kombucha be your guide. You can mix your kombucha with flavored sparkling water, fruit juice, citrus juice, or even elderberry juice for maximum health benefits. Add in whole fruits like berries, herbs like mint or lavender, or slices of citrus. Because kombucha already has sugar in it, you won’t need to add any extra sweeteners.
Cozy up with one of these healthy, non-alcoholic, low-sugar drinks this season and you can stay on track with your health goals while still having a joyous time. Cheers!