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Ring in the New Year with a delicious drink in hand thanks to these dietitian created Healthier New Year’s Cocktails & Mocktails featuring fresh, whole-food ingredients and alcoholic, and non-alcoholic, options for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Tips for Healthier Drinking
It’s no secret, I love a good cocktail or two when enjoying time with my friends and family. Many people like to enjoy a few drinks during the holidays, and with New Years Eve just a few days away, it is a perfect time to talk about healthy alcohol consumption.
Like all components of a healthy lifestyle, alcohol consumption should be enjoyed in moderation. The American Diabetes Association defines moderation as 1 alcoholic drink per day for women and 2 alcoholic drinks per day for men.
- A single alcoholic drink is defined as 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1.5 ounces of liquor
- Alcoholic beverages contain calories, and often times a LOT of calories, depending on what you’re drinking, so be smart!
- It’s all about the mixer. While alcohol itself contains calories, your mixer doesn’t have to. To avoid additional calories and sugars opt for a low to no sugar mixer like club soda, seltzer, diet soda or light juices.
- Make it a spritzer. A spritzer is easily made by mixing 1/2 proportion of wine with 1/2 proportion or club soda or seltzer. Add in a few fresh berries for a refreshing twist. When you make a spritzer you can enjoy two beverages because you’re cutting the amount of alcohol in half, so it feels like you can drink more at a social event or party.
- If you have diabetes, avoid super sweet cocktails that contain a lot of sugar or syrup and drinks that mix more than 1 type of alcohol.
- Never drink on an empty stomach, especially if you have diabetes. When you have diabetes and drink alcohol you risk experiencing hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, which can be harmful and even deadly. Drinking on an empty stomach can make you be more likely to experience hypoglycemia.
- Eat a healthy meal before drinking, particularly one that contains an even distribution of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. My sister, who is a Type 1 Diabetic, reports that if she plans on enjoying a few drinks she is sure to eat a heavy meal before hand to prevent hypoglycemia.
If you are diabetic:
- If you plan on having more than the recommended amount of drinks in one night, make sure someone you know and trust is with you in the event that you may experience hypoglycemia. If you are drunk, they can get you the help that you may need.
- If you have had too many drinks in one night, make sure to eat something before going to bed to prevent hypoglycemia while you are sleeping, which can be deadly.
Try These Delicious Healthy Cocktail Recipes
Pomegranate Ginger Smash
I love to garnish this Pomegranate Ginger Smash with a pretty ginger and rosemary sugared rim and some fresh pomegranate arils, but it’s still perfectly delicious without the fancy extras. Mix up a pitcher for a crowd or just a couple for you and your favorite person to celebrate the season! Cheers!” – Lively Table
Ginger Kombucha Moscow Mule
“There are plenty of other reasons to add some booch to your happy hour festivities. It’s lower in added sugar than many traditional cocktail mixers (including ginger beer). The lower sugar content not only contributes fewer calories per drink, but may also help ward off some of those nasty hangover symptoms that may result from indulging in a few too many sugary alcoholic beverages.” – Kara Hochreiter, MS, RD, LD of Byte Sized Nutrition
Love in the Cabin Cocktail
“This Love in the Cabin Cocktail brings back memories of our special vacation! It’s made with my favorite fruit flavors and pairs perfectly with a romantic night in front of the fireplace! ? As usual, I try to incorporate fresh ingredients in all of my cocktails to give them a special, flavorful touch!” – Beautiful Eats & Things
“Have you ever heard of the drink called a Painkiller? If you have spent time in the Caribbean you probably have. The Painkiller is a pretty high-calorie drink. This skinny painkiller has the same great taste with fewer calories.” – Nourished Simply
Sparkling Pear and Pomegranate Sangria
“Do yourself a favor this holiday season and make a batch of this delicious sangria. I promise you won’t regret it, and you just might find your new go-to for holiday drinks! Oh, and your guests will love you. Cheers!” – Lively Table
Fresh Frozen Blueberry Lime Margarita
“This Fresh Frozen Blueberry Lime Margarita was super easy to make! All you need is a blender, your fresh ingredients, and a great set of margarita glasses. The alcohol content can be altered to your taste, but I think you’ll enjoy the recipe just the way it is! Just before serving, be sure to coat the rim of your glass with salt, or my fave, sugar!” – Beautiful Eats and Things
Pomegranate French 75
“This Pomegranate French 75 is not the only variation of the classic drink that I have made. A few years ago, I added freshly squeezed orange juice to the traditional recipe for an Orange French 75. You could easily swap fresh grapefruit juice, another fruit of the season, to make a grapefruit French 75.” – Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN, culinary nutrition expert and author of 52-Week Meal Planner
Brunch Pomegranate Moscow Mules
“With just a few simple ingredients, these drinks can be made by an amateur or a cocktail newbie! It’s fun to drink out of the traditional copper Moscow mug, but a regular glass will do the trick too!” – Kroll’s Korner
Warm, Soothing Cocktails
Mandarin Orange & Rosemary Hot Toddy
“A Hot Toddy, also known as a Hot Whiskey in Scotland, is a drink made of water, honey, herbs and spices, and liquor – served hot traditionally before bed or during cold weather conditions. Not only does it taste amazing, but old wives tales place this delicious drink in the medicinal category to aid with common ailments such as the cold or the flu. In How to Drink, Victoria Moore describes the drink as “the vitamin C for health, the honey to soothe, the alcohol to numb“.” – Yours truly, Emily Kyle
Try These Delicious Non-Alcoholic Healthy Mocktail Recipes
Strawberry Watermelon Sparkling Lemonade
“With no artificial flavors, colors, added sweeteners or caffeine, Lipton® Strawberry Watermelon Iced Herbal Tea is a refreshing blend, that the whole family can enjoy. Carefully crafted with caffeine free and sweet herbs, this tea has no added sugar and still tastes great.” – Yours Truly, Emily Kyle
Easy Sparkling Apple Cider Mocktail
“Who doesn’t love fancy drinks to celebrate the New Year, or really any other holiday! If you don’t drink, this easy citrus sparkling apple cider is a beautiful and flavorful simple mocktail that you will love.” – Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CDN at Nourish Nutrition Blog
Kombucha Mule Mocktail
“And since kombucha has so much flavor, it makes a delicious mocktail, too! Just in case you’re waiting for a precious baby, like me, or you just prefer not to drink. A kombucha mule is much more fun than my standard club soda with lime that I’ve been sipping the past 9 months.” – Lively Table
3 Ingredient Tart Cherry Spritzer
“As much as I love and rely on water, it can easily get boring. Especially on those hot days or days that I’m wanting to drink a lot. I’ve found that adding a splash of fruit juice to my water is a great way to add extra flavor. Adding tart cherry concentrate is awesome because it’s got a punch of tart cherry flavor. I’m all for homemade sodas, and this homemade tart cherry soda is as delicious as it is easy.” – Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CDN at Nourish Nutrition Blog
Pomegranate Lime Spritzer
“If you find yourself hosting a holiday or New Years party this year and want mocktail options, here you go. You can even add vodka or gin to this exact recipe to make a great (and still really easy) adult drink.So, here you go, the easy and delicious fizzy special drink that takes just minutes and is made with ingredients you’ll probably have on hand. Here’s to being a winning hostess.” – Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN, CDN at Nourish Nutrition Blog
Coconut Pomegranate Mojito Mocktail
“This recipe for a coconut pomegranate mojito mocktail includes refreshing ingredients like mint, lime and sparkling water and sweetness from pomegranate and coconut water.” – Jessica Spiro Nutrition
I hope you have a fun, safe, and responsible New Years Eve! I am looking forward to all of the fun and amazing things to come in 2019 and I hope you are too. If you’re going set a goal of getting healthy this new year, let me help you!