Holiday Libations – Cocktails, Mocktails, and more
The holidays are usually accompanied by an uptick in drinking to celebrate the season with friends, family, and colleagues. While this year’s social occasions will still be curtailed due to the pandemic, if you do indulge, follow our top tips to avoid hangovers and excess calories.
“Healthy” Alcohol Tips
Drink water to prevent dehydration, especially before you pour that glass of wine or mix your cocktail.
Use Low/No Sugar Mixers
Substitute sugar and calorie-laden mixers like tonic water and sweet mixers with sparkling water and natural fruit juice.
Drink Clear Alcohols
You might have less of a hangover with gluten-free tequila, mezcal, and vodka made with potatoes or corn.
Don’t drink on an empty stomach. Eat a healthy snack or two first.
Looking to change up our holiday beverage, we asked our cocktailian friends for their favorite holiday beverage. Try one of our wine, cocktail, and mocktail favorites, and let us know what you think!
Wine and champagne are perennial favorites. This year, treat yourself to a Sancerre or Veuve Cliquot Rose. Did you know that Madame Clicquot invented the first known blended rosé champagne 200 years ago?
A little bored with wine, but not a cocktail kind of woman? Liven things up with these variations:
Spiced Cranberry Sangria
Sangria tends to be associated with warm weather. However, spiced simple syrup and tart cranberries make for a festive holiday twist. A perfect party beverage, make this recipe from Chowhound a day ahead for the best flavor.
Mulled wine is delicious and an ideal beverage when the temperature drops. It also makes your house smell amazing. When guests walk in, they get an instant hit of holiday warmth and cheer. Try this recipe from Bon Appetit or buy these delicious mulling spices from Oaktown Spice Shop and pair them with your favorite bottle of wine.
Clyde Common Eggnog
We think of eggnog as a cult favorite kind of beverage and were surprised at how many people reported it as their favorite holiday beverage. Sure, you can drink it straight, but why not try it spiked? Created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler at Clyde Common Portland, this grownup recipe will not disappoint. It is creamy and smoky and utterly delicious. Note that the recipe makes an entire gallon. Great for a party or stashing in the refrigerator for impromptu cocktails with the neighbors.
Holiday Brunch Punch
It’s always handy to have a time-saver make-ahead recipe for a holiday brunch party or Christmas morning. Nominated by our favorite ob/gyn and menopause expert, Dr. Barb Depree, the Holiday Brunch Cocktail is refreshing and versatile as a cocktail or mocktail.
Everyone in Venice, Italy, has this cheery red cocktail in hand before dinner. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet, fizzy, and light. It’s the perfect aperitivo. This classic recipe from the Splendid Table will not disappoint.
This year give your standard martini a festive twist with pomegranate. Pomegranate is a superfood, so you might feel a little less guilty about indulging in this boozy beverage. We like this recipe from Taste of Home. Ready for a change? Try Martha Stewart’s Cranberry Moscow Mule. Drizzle the leftover simple syrup over roasted butternut squash or brussel sprouts. Yum!
Seedlip Non-alcoholic Mocktails
We were excited to get turned on to Seedlip, a high-quality distilled non-alcoholic spirit. This holiday season, we are trying the Squirrel Milk Punch and Spice and Ginger Ale mocktails. Seedlip also makes a fabulous hostess gift.
We like that you can play with the sweet-tart flavors in this mocktail recipe from the Culinary Institute of America to suit your taste. You can also save calories by using diet ginger ale.
Holiday Spiced Tea
If tea is your thing or you are looking for a hot non-alcoholic alternative to mulled wine, give holiday spiced tea a shot. It’s fragrant, warming, and cozy all at once. This recipe from Epicurious can be adjusted to reduce or eliminate sugar altogether.
Coffee lovers can get creative during the holidays and jazz up their java with any number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic ingredients. We’re fans of the Nutty Irishman – coffee, Frangelico, and Bailey’s Irish Cream. For other regional twists, how about a Kentucky Coffee, French Connection, or Cafe Caribbean. Forget about Starbucks and make your own pumpkin spice latte with this simple recipe. For a quick festive treat, replace your milk or cream with eggnog.
Looking for something a little more decadent than tea or coffee? Try this twist on Peppermint Hot Chocolate with Schnapps and Godiva Chocolate Liqueur. Mexican Hot Chocolate with Mezcal is a cup of smoky chocolatey deliciousness. Non-dairy lovers will enjoy this Coconut Milk Hot Chocolate with Rum. Make any dairy-based drink a bit healthier with one of the alternative non-dairy milks.
Not to be a debbie downer, but it’s well-known that alcohol exacerbates hot flashes during menopause and impairs sleep. Temper the effects by pairing your holiday booze splurge with plenty of water, healthy foods, fewer sweet treats, exercise, and moderation.
Finally, drink responsibly and help others to do the same.
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