4 Lightened Up Cocktails to Ring in the New Year

Monday, December 29, 2014

Red cocktail with salt

By: Elizabeth Canepari, MS, RD, Contributing Blogger

As the ball gets ready to drop I usually find myself with a hors d’oeuvre in one hand, a cocktail in the other, and no way to hug an old friend. Don’t get me wrong, I do love being in this predicament, but I don’t love sipping hundreds (or thousands!) of calories over ice. If you’re like me and want to have enjoy your cocktails and fit into your favorite skinny jeans, too, try sipping on a few of these festive spirits (all for under 125 calories!).

Kickin’ Jalapeno Margarita
If your idea of a party includes guacamole and flautas, then this drink is for you! In a shaker filled with ice add 1 fluid ounce tequila, 1 fluid ounce fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon agave, and a few slices of jalapeno (4 is my magic number – add or subtract to desired heat). Shake your heart out and pour into a glass. Top with club soda and stir to combine.

Nutrition info per drink: Calories: 94; Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Carbohydrates: 8 grams; Sugar: 5 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Protein: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Sodium: 20 milligrams

What’s good about it: A traditional margarita can boast about 500 calories. This version is a clear winner at just under 100. The jalapeno will not only give your taste buds a kick, but these hot peppers contain capsaicin, a phytochemical that may aid in digestion and metabolism.

Nutty Faux-Nog
Planning on sitting by the fire and snuggling up with a glass of spiked eggnog this New Year’s Eve? Try this lightened up version for a creamy treat that won’t disappoint. In an ice filled shaker add 1 fluid ounce spiced rum, 2 fluid ounces vanilla almond milk, 1 fluid ounce half-and-half, a dash of vanilla extract and cinnamon, and a pinch of nutmeg. Shake well and pour over ice.

Nutrition info per drink: Calories: 124 calories; Total Fat: 4 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Carbohydrates: 5 grams; Sugar: 5 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Protein: 1 gram; Cholesterol: 10 milligrams; Sodium: 50 milligrams

What’s good about it: This velvety drink is traditionally made with whole eggs and heavy cream which pack on the calories and saturated fat. Choosing almond milk not only gives this drink a nutty flavor, but also gives a tasty dose of your daily vitamin E (glowing skin, anyone?).

Rosemary Pomapple Tini
Nothing says winter quite like rosemary and pomegranate, and this drink has both! Perk up a ho-hum martini with a few key ingredients. In a cocktail shaker muddle a few springs of fresh rosemary with 1 fluid ounce gin, 1 fluid ounce pomegranate juice and 2 fluid ounces 100% apple juice. Add ice and shake until frothy. Strain into a martini glass and top with club soda. Garnish with a few pomegranate seeds and a spring of fresh rosemary for a festive treat.

Nutrition info per drink: Calories: 109; Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Carbohydrates: 11 grams; Sugar: 10 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Protein: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 10 milligrams

What’s good about it: Traditional juice mixers can contain as little as 10% juice and consist of mostly sugar and water. Rich pomegranate juice is loaded with antioxidants that may help reduce the risk of chronic disease. Not to mention, rosemary will not only give this ‘tini a savory punch, but may help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

Cucumber Ginger Fizz
Looking for something light and bubbly this time around? Shake up a few slices of cucumber, a thick slice of ginger, 1 fluid ounce vodka, 1 teaspoon of agave, and ice. Pour over ice and top with club soda.

Nutrition info per drink: Calories: 86; Total Fat: 0 grams; Saturated Fat: 0 grams; Carbohydrates: 5 grams; Sugar: 5 grams; Fiber: 0 grams; Protein: 0 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 0 milligrams

What’s good about it: Club soda adds bubbles without the calories you typically find in traditional lemon-lime soda. Fresh ginger root gives this cocktail a zesty bite while aiding digestion. Who knew this cocktail could help relieve an overindulged holiday tummy.

I hope these cocktails will be the perfect start to a happy and healthy 2015. Grab your party hats and noisemakers and get ready to ring in the New Year on the lighter side. Cheers, and Happy New Year!

Filed under Healthy Eating, Recipes, Tips  |  Comments: 1


One Comment on “4 Lightened Up Cocktails to Ring in the New Year



Brenda Says:

Thanks Elizabeth for these great and light recipes! I made the cucumber one last weekend, and everyone loved it! Keep the postings coming!




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