6 Healthy & Festive Mocktail Recipes

6 Healthy & Festive Mocktail Recipes

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No one wants to feel deprived when it comes to celebrating the holidays. That’s true of revelers ranging from the glowing mom-to-be to the saintly designated driver to anyone determined not to pack on a few pounds.

Read on for expert advice and recipes for luxury holiday imbibing without the alcohol and excess calories.

Party beverages often feature high levels of three diet-busting components: Fat, sugar, and alcohol. Rich cream, sugary syrups, and calorie-dense booze — but you don’t have to fall off the wagon to have a great time.

For those of you thinking, “I refuse to give up my annual one-of-a-kind treat,” we hear you. We’re not saying no, we’re just saying know what you’re getting into — one of these can pack a walloping punch of 250 to 450 calories depending on serving size. And it’s a lot harder to be mindful when you’re drinking, as opposed to eating, your calories. Fattening drinks go down fast, and getting tipsy impairs judgment and can increase a hormone that makes you feel hungry. The cold hard truth is this: There’s no such thing as a truly low-calorie alcoholic drink. A 100-proof, 1-ounce shot of vodka, will always have 80 calories. That’s the base, and it only goes up from there.

Caitlin Padgett, a holistic health coach specializing in helping women redefine their relationship with alcohol and author of Drink Less, Be More: How to Have a Great Night (and Life!) Without Getting Wasted, advises mindfully thinking ahead to help maintain healthy practices. “With the inevitability of the holiday season that both tempts and compromises us in so many ways,” she says, “it is important to be proactive to avoid pitfalls.” Having a strategy can mean the difference between staying on the right road, and tossing in the towel with an “ Oh, what the hell?” attitude when you’re a guest at a fest.

“I recommend include planning ahead, making a list of alternative drinks, stocking up on [mocktail] ingredients, and taking advantage of BYOB holiday events to provide your own delicious non-alcohol alternatives,” Padgett tells us. “This will help reduce impulsive choices around what you are eating, drinking, and how you manage your stress. It’s important to have a plan for your drinking before heading into the holidays.”

Hosts should consider offering reduced-calorie and sugar-free mocktails instead of just a tired old glass of club soda with a wedge of lime rock. Guests won’t feel on the spot to reveal or explain sensitive personal issues such as diabetes, an early pregnancy, or recovering-alcoholic status if you simply say, “Cocktail or Mocktail?”

But better-for-you drinks don’t have to be boring. Luckily, Jordan Catapano, co-author of Cocktails for Cougars & Cowgirls and founder of the award-winning beverage blog This Girl Walks into a Bar, and her sister Jocelyn Dunn Muhlbach have shared the skinny on the best healthy party drinks that look and taste great.

Ready to party? See below for ways to indulge in one of these luscious recipes from our expert mixologists, Jordan and Jocelyn.

6 Low Calorie Mocktail Recipes for Parties

Minty Mocktail — 23 calories

¼ ounce lime juice: 1 calorie

¼ ounce mint simple syrup: 6 calories

1 ounce pineapple juice: 16 calories

Dusting of cinnamon: 0 calories

3-5 ounces club soda: 0 calories

 

Directions

Fill a martini shaker with ice, then add the lime juice, mint simple syrup, pineapple juice, and cinnamon. Shake well, and strain into a glass filled with ice. Add the club soda, stir, and serve.

Blackberry Mocktail — 24 Calories

¼ ounce blackberry simple syrup: 8 calories

¼ ounce lemon juice: 2 calories

1 ounce orange juice: 14 calories

Whisper of ground cloves: 0 calories

4-6 ounces club soda: 0 calories

 

Directions

Fill a martini shaker with ice, then add the blackberry simple syrup, lemon juice, orange juice, and ground cloves. Shake well, and strain into a glass filled with ice. Add the club soda, stir, and serve. Garnish with blackberries.

Rosemary Tonic Mocktail — 14 Calories

¼ sprig rosemary: 2 calories

¼ ounce simple syrup: 6 calories

½ ounce lime juice: 2 calories

½ ounce lemon juice: 2 calories

3 ounces diet tonic water: 0 calories

2 ounces low-calorie lemonade: 2 calories

 

Directions

In a martini shaker, gently muddle the rosemary in the low calorie lemonade. Strain the lemonade into a lowball filled with ice. Add the simple syrup, lime juice, lemon juice, and diet tonic water. Stir to mix. Garnish with a lemon a rosemary sprig.

Chai Tea Mocktail — 30 Calories

3 ounces chai tea: 0 calories

1 teaspoon honey: 21 calories

2 ounces light cranberry juice: 6 calories

3 ounces club soda with lemon: 3 calories

 

Directions

Fill a martini shaker with ice. Add the chai tea, honey, and cranberry juice. Shake to mix, and strain into a glass filled with ice. Add the club soda with lemon and stir. Garnish with a lemon.

Cranberry Ginger Spritzer Mocktail — 15 Calories

4 ounces light cranberry juice: 12 calories

½ teaspoon ginger juice: 0 calories

3 ounces club soda with lemon: 3 calories

 

Directions

Fill a glass with ice, then add the cranberry juice, ginger juice, and club soda. Stir, garnish with a ginger peel, and serve.

Tropical Mocktail — 68 Calories

4 ounces Coconut water: 25 calories

1 ounce pineapple juice: 16 calories

½ tablespoon lychee syrup: 22 calories

4 ounces club soda with lime: 5 calories

 

Directions

Fill a martini shaker with ice, then add the coconut water, pineapple juice, and lychee syrup. Shake well, then strain into a highball filled with ice. Add the club soda, stir, and garnish with a lime.

Photos and mocktail recipes courtesy of thisgirlwalksintoabar.com

Lynn Marie Hulsman

I'm a New York City-based novelist, cookbook writer, and ideation agent whose former jobs include stand-up comic, bookseller, and medical editor. Interests include nutrition, pop psychology, British culture, and dogs. My very favorite thing is reading.
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