Cheers to Your Health! 6 (Healthier) Cocktails

Tis the season for holiday parties, family gatherings, and maybe a few more cocktails than usual. We don't expect anyone to pass up a glass (or two) of cheer, but next time you toast, say no to the mulled wine and grab one of these instead.

1. Champagne
Don't pass up the bubbly! Studies have shown it has the same heart-healthy antioxidants as red wine that can help prevent strokes and heart disease. Champagne's memory-boosting effect has also been studied, and it's a lower-calorie alternative to red or white wine. Bring on the bubbles!

2. Spiked Apple Cider 
Nothing warms you up during the holidays quite like a hot apple cider. To make it even more festive, combine 6 oz apple cider, 2 oz dark rum, a cinnamon stick, cloves, and an orange peel in a pot over low heat for 3-5 minutes.

3. Festive Gin and Tonic
Gin (or vodka) tonics are great bases for a holiday twist. Add-ins like sprigs of rosemary, frozen cranberries, orange peel, or champagne turn the festive vibe up a notch. You can even get organic tonic water infused with essential oils if you crave something special. Another way to make it healthier: Replace regular tonic with sparkling water. You won't miss the added sugar, we promise.

4. Spiced Pear Ginger Swirl
This one requires a bit more work, but trust us, it's worth it. The ginger and pear create a fruity warmth that's perfect on a cold winter's night. Simmer 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup water, and about 1 tbsp grated ginger in a small pot until honey dissolves. Remove from heat for 30 minutes and strain. Combine 2 oz Bourbon or whiskey, 1 oz ginger syrup, 2 oz pear juice, and a splash of sparkling water or ginger beer for even more of a kick. Garnish with sliced pear and lemon peel.

5. Even-Better Eggnog
Traditional eggnog is decadent to say the least. To lighten your treat and leave out the sugar and cream, blend 1 cup non-dairy milk, 1 egg white, 1/3 cup honey, 1 tsp organic vanilla extract. Simmer over medium heat for about 15 minutes without letting it come to a boil. Chill in the fridge. When it's ready, add cognac, rum, or bourbon and whisk. Top with cinnamon and nutmeg.

6. Crantini
Martinis can be a great place to sneak in fruit. Combine 1 oz vodka, 1/2 oz Cointreau, 1/2 oz vermouth, and 2 oz unsweetened cranberry juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Serve with cranberries and an orange peel, and enjoy the cranberries' antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.   

A final tip for healthy holiday drinking: Alternate a glass of water with every alcoholic drink and limit the amount of drinks you have at one event. Even the healthiest cocktail loses its benefits if you have too many, and hangovers are far from healthy.

By Steph Davidson| December 13, 2016
Categories:  Recipes

About the Author

Steph Davidson

Steph Davidson

Steph is a writer and editor with a love of tea, books, and horror movies. Steph grew up under the impression that most meals came out of a box and had to contain some sort of animal protein. When an interest in a more environmentally friendly way of living led to her vegetarianism in 2012, she decided to teach herself how to cook. You can catch her kitchen wins (and the occasional opportunity for improvement) on Instagram @_stephinitely_.


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