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Video: Cheers! Tips on holiday cocktails

By
TODAY contributor
updated 11/3/2008 4:37:02 PM ET 2008-11-03T21:37:02

It's no surprise alcohol consumption rises during the holiday season. In fact, 25 percent of distilled spirits are sold between Thanksgiving and New Year's. While a celebratory drink is obviously fine, excessive holiday drinking can take a significant toll on both your waistline and health. 

What’s more, seasonal drinks like eggnog, buttered rum, and peppermint (schnapps) hot chocolate are DDD — that stands for “Decadent Desserts in Disguise!” They are particularly problematic as they incorporate cream, butter, whole milk and chocolate along with the alcohol, thus creating a double whammy: extra calories and artery-clogging fat. If you do choose to drink them, try to count them toward your alcohol allotment plus a dessert.

Joy’s tips for cutting cocktail calories
1. Think before you drink: Decide how much you are going to drink in advance.

2. At parties, start with a nonalcoholic beverage to quench your thirst. During the party, switch between alcoholic beverages and low-calorie, nonalcoholic drinks like club soda or water.

3. Request low-calorie, diet mixers/chasers when possible.

4. Reduce calorie and alcohol content by making a wine spritzer or adding diet ginger ale to your beer (shandy).

5. Plan ahead: Save some calories during the day (i.e., skip your mid-day snack) if you know you plan to enjoy a drink or two later in the day.

Cocktail calorie counter
These calorie calculations are based on traditional recipes. Numbers may vary depending on ingredients and ingredient amounts. 

  • Eggnog with rum (1 cup serving)
    Calories: 370
  • Peppermint hot chocolate (1 cup serving)
    Calories: 380
  • Hot buttered rum (1 cup serving)
    Calories: 292
  • Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 ounces on the rocks)
    Calories: 310
  • Holiday punch (1 cup serving)
    Calories: 234
  • Crantini: (1 cup serving)
    Calories: 200
  • Spiced cider with rum (1 cup serving)
    Calories: 150
  • Mulled wine (5 ounce serving)
    Calories: 200
  • Red wine (5 ounce serving)
    Calories: 120
  • White wine (5 ounce serving)
    Calories: 120
  • Champagne (5 ounce serving)
    Calories: 120
  • Vodka tonic
    Calories: 200
  • Regular beer (12-ounce serving)
    Calories: 150
  • Light beer (12 ounce serving)
    Calories: 100

As always, drink responsibly throughout the year.

Joy Bauer is the author of “Food Cures.”  For more information on healthy eating, check out Joy’s Web site at www.joybauernutrition.com

© 2013 NBCNews.com  Reprints

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