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)
- Peppermint hot chocolate (1 cup serving)
- Hot buttered rum (1 cup serving)
- Godiva chocolate liqueur (3 ounces on the rocks)
- Holiday punch (1 cup serving)
- Crantini: (1 cup serving)
- Spiced cider with rum (1 cup serving)
- Mulled wine (5 ounce serving)
- Red wine (5 ounce serving)
- White wine (5 ounce serving)
- Champagne (5 ounce serving)
- Vodka tonic
- Regular beer (12-ounce serving)
- Light beer (12 ounce serving)
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