Christmas is a time for indulgence, whether this be in food, drink, festivities or fun. Especially as this year has been a tough one for us all, it’s definitely time to give ourselves those treats that we deserve! I have never been a huge drinker, mainly because I don’t like the taste of alcoholic drinks but when it comes to the classic Christmas cocktails there are definitely a few I love to enjoy.
Mulled wine, mimosas, coffee martinis and even just a baileys on the rocks, are a few that I really have a soft spot for. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying any of your favourite drinks this holiday. In fact, you will be pleased to know that moderate intakes of alcohol have been shown to have protective effects against some disorders including heart disease and diabetes. However, the term ‘moderate’ is considered to be about 5 small glasses of wine or 7 pints of beer per week.
So, if you are planning to have more than just a couple of drinks, it may be a good idea to reduce that sugar and fat content, just to soften the blow. I have put together a few ideas to help you make your Christmas drinking a bit healthier this year. Let me know if you try any and how you get along!
My favourite time to drink mimosas is on Christmas morning, just after waking up and walking down to a beautifully decorated Christmas tree. You can’t beat a mimosa with real orange juice, but if you are looking for a substitute to that sugary addition, I would really recommend adding sugar-free orange squash instead! Champagne and Prosecco are already one of the lowest calorie alcoholic drinks of the bunch (at about 75 cals a glass), so adding a bit of sugar-free cordial will keep the calories in this drinks at bay! How about adding a slice of fresh fruit to add an even fresher, fruity taste?
2. Mulled Wine
For me, mulled wine is the trademark of Christmas. I don’t like the taste of wine normally, but mulled wine hits the spot in so many different ways. I love the christmassy aromas, especially cinnamon, my favourite spice. The thing is with mulled wine is that it does contain a lot of refined sugars, and these aren’t great for your blood sugar levels, so it is best to have them in moderation. But for those of you who want to drink mulled wine all day long, I may have the answer to your prayers.
Why not have a go at making your own low-sugar mulled wine? All you have to do is follow this simple recipe, but substitute the maple syrup with liquid sweetener. You can buy some online here. If you don’t like using sweeteners, then you could improve the nutrient content of your mulled wine by using agave syrup or honey. This won’t change the sugar content, but at least you know it’s more natural and has a slightly better impact on your blood sugar levels.
If making your own mulled wine isn’t an option, then just bear in mind the sugar content. Have a couple of glasses by all means, but it may be wise to switch back to red wine afterwards. Red wine carries all the same antioxidant benefits, but without the extra sugar.
3. Light White Russian
I’ve never actually tried a White Russian myself, but they look really yummy and I’ve heard they are worth a go. They contain vodka, coffee liquor, ice and some ‘heavy’ cream. You can probably guess what my suggestion here is going to be. Yep, you guessed right… replace that full fat cream with a low fat version and save yourself around 100 calories from every glass!
4. Be spirit smart
There are certain spirits and mixers that you can choose to keep the calorie content of your alcohol drinks to the minimum. As I mentioned earlier, champagne and Prosecco are one of the lowest calorie drinks per glass. When it comes to spirits, choosing the low-sugar options like vodka, whiskey, gin and tequila are a good idea. Combine these with plain soda or low-calorie mixers like slimline tonic and some fresh fruit to help mask that strong alcohol taste, and you will have yourself a healthier alternative to your classic drink!
5. Choose lighter options
It is also worth having a look online for ‘light’ versions of your favourite drink. Light beers definitely do exist and are easy to get your hands on, and I have recently discovered a light alternative to Baileys, called Carolans light. I am yet to try it, but apparently, it only saves you 18 calories per glass… so it's probably just worth drinking the normal version (unless your planning to have over 10 glasses of the stuff!)
If you are looking to drink a bit smarter this Christmas, I hope this article has given you a few ideas. Remember, it is Christmas after all, so don’t be too harsh on yourself and enjoy this beautiful time of the year!
Please let me know how you get on by commenting below!