Work Christmas parties, family gatherings, New Year’s Eve bashes—the festive season is filled with boozy temptations. And, we’re not going to lie, alcohol can pack a hefty calorie punch—just one shot of vodka has a whopping 97 calories, according to the USDA. Cocktails, in particular, are on of the worst offenders. But, every once in while, they can be oh-so-good for our mental health.

Thankfully, there are some easy changes we can make to make our beverages a little bit healthier (trust us, your beach bod will thank you), without sacrificing flavour.

First things first, ditch the pre-made mixes and use freshly squeezed juices to add flavour without giving yourself a sugar high.

Spice up your cocktails with turmeric, cinnamon or fresh ginger for added health benefits.

Opt for low-sugar alcohols, like vodka, gin, ruma and tequila.

Think of ice as your friend. It not only keeps your drink cold, but also keeps you hydrated.

With this in mind, we’re sharing some our favourite cocktail recipes that you can make at home (win!). They’re perfect for the holidays and aren’t jam-packed with nasties.

Healthy Holiday Cocktail Recipes

1The Spring Spritz

cocktails, aperol, spritz, holidays, Christmas
Image: Epicurious

This zesty take on the Aperol Spritz is made with Aperol, sparkling white wine, fresh ruby red grapefruit juice and a splash of soda. One word: Yum!

See the recipe here. 

2Watermelon & Mint Mojito

Mojito, low calorie, cocktails, holidays, Christmas
Image: Inspired By This

The perfect antidote to sweltering summer days, Inspired By This’ pretty pink cocktail is incredibly refreshing and easy on the waistline. It features rum, a dash of mint, and a whole lot of everyone’s favourite melon.

See the recipe here.

3Pumpkin Spiced Punch

Pumpkin Spiced Cocktail, holiday cocktails, alcohol, low calorie

To Live & Diet in LA’s holiday-inspired cocktail is full of antioxidant-rich pumpkin and metabolism-boosting cinnamon. Plus, with only 90 calories a glass, it most definitely makes Santa’s “nice” list.

See the recipe here.

4Low Sugar Cider Sangria

Low Sugar Cider Sangria, cocktails, holidays, Christmas
Image: Pure Blonde

Sangria is one of the easiest big-batch cocktails you can make. As the party host, this low-sugar alternative is a no-brainer.

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 355ml bottles of Pure Blonde Crisp Apple Cider
  • 2 green apples
  • 1 cup mint leaves
  • 2 pears
  • 2 oranges 
  • 1 dry white wine
  • 2 375ml cans of diet ginger beer 

Directions:

Slice apples, oranges and pears, then pop them into a large jug along with mint leaves. Add Pure Blonde Crisp Apple Cider, ginger beer and white wine. Stir mixture and serve over ice for the perfect summer cocktail.

Want to to continue the low sugar trend? Find out which fruits won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

5Light G&T

Gin and Tonic, G&T, cocktail recipes, Christmas
Image: Fever Tree

Before appletinis, G&T were all the rage. Now, they’re back and better than ever. And it doesn’t get more classic (or sessionable) than this recipe.

Serves: 1

Ingredients: 

200ml Fever-Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water

Ice

50ml gin or your choice

Lime

Directions:

Fill the glass with fresh ice and pour over your favourite gin. Top up with Fever-Tree Naturally Light Tonic Water and garnish with a curl of lime.

Want more cocktails you don’t have to feel guilty about? Try these healthy seasonal cocktails, courtesy of Greenleaf.