I’d like to think that calories don’t count over the holidays. In fact, that IS what I think while indulging in classic holiday treats like decadent hot chocolate and gingerbread desserts. Cocktails, though, are a place where I can skimp on calories without missing out on taste, too—these 7 skinny holiday drinks are proof. And, hey, the fewer calories I use on cocktails, the more I’ll happily enjoy Christmas cookies.
This seasonal Apple Spiced Martini created by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and found in Redbook is packed with warm holiday spice. The simple syrup used to sweetened this drink is made with cinnamon, ginger and other spices that are so flavorful, you need just a little bit. That keeps this delicious sip low calorie, too.
While we’re talking apples, let’s have a little taste of this Apple Fizz from The Skinny Confidential, shall we? This is so simple: vodka, apple juice, ginger ale and sparkling water. The amount of ginger ale is small, but word on the street is that there’s a good stevia-sweetened version for those of you who, unlike me, are actually strict about your skinny drinks. Also, kick up the flavor using a deliciously fresh juice like our favorite ‘Tude Natural Apple Juice.
Okay, I’ll be honest: I’m not exactly sure that this Cranberry Margarita from Gimme Some Oven counts as a skinny cocktail since the recipe wasn’t developed that way and I haven’t done the calorie count. Given that there is no added sugar—just a little bit of juice and even less orange liqueur in each serving—this drink counts as skinny in my book. It’s perfect for the holidays, too.
Lest you think the skinny version is the bland version, this Skinny Ginger Mule recipe that we found at Liquor.com is boosted with fresh ginger and uses basil instead of mint. There’s also a recipe for the traditional version so that you can see how it was made skinny and go back to your roots with mint if you must.
Related: 8 delicious holiday cocktail recipes
No holiday drink round-up is complete without eggnog. You either love it or hate it, but I love it—especially when you can get all the taste with fewer calories like with this Skinny Eggnog recipe from Cooking Light.
Want eggnog flavor in a low calorie drink that’s also dairy-free? It may sound like too much to ask for but it isn’t, thanks to Keri at Shaken Together and her Skinny Almond Milk Eggnog. This version is non-alcoholic, but feel free to add a dash of booze, if that’s your thing.
It only seems right to end with the original Skinnygirl herself, Bethenny Frankel. If you’re a fan of the Skinnygirl drink line (you know that I’m a sucker for Skinnygirl Margaritas), you’ll appreciate the new book Skinnygirl Cocktails: 100 Fun and Flirty Guilt-Free Recipes ($10.78 through our Amazon affiliate). It’s far from groundbreaking and, to be honest, reads more like marketing for the liquors than a cookbook, but I have to admit that there are a bunch of simple recipes for skinny drink die hards, including this Peppermint Martini from the “Holiday” chapter. If ever there was a time to give this a go, it’s now.
5 ounces Skinnygirl Bare Naked Vodka or other vodka
Splash of peppermint schnapps
Splash of club soda
Mini candy cane, finely crushed, plus 1 short peppermint stick, for garnish
Combine the vodka and peppermint schnapps with ice in a cocktail shaker and shake well. Rim a martini glass with water and the crushed candy. Strain the drink into the glass and garnish with the peppermint stick.
Peppermint Martini recipe Copyright © 2014 by Bethenny Frankel. From the book SKINNYGIRL COCKTAILS by Bethenny Frankel, published by Touchstone, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. Printed by permission. Peppermint Martini photo © 2014, Lucy Schaeffer.