As we become more health-conscious, considering what we put into our bodies is important, even when having just a glass of your favorite delicious cocktail this holiday season. Swapping some simple ingredients will definitely help you create a healthier and guilt-free version of a holiday drink that's just as satisfying as the original. From fresh fruit and herbs to incorporating low-calorie mixers and sweeteners, the possibilities are endless.
This article will provide you with some good-to-know information to create a delicious and nutritious drink for your festive holiday celebration. So, grab your shaker, and let's get mixing!
Cocktails and Why it’s Made That Way
A cocktail is basically a drink that contains an alcohol base, sweeteners or juices, and bitters served with edible garnish. Check out The Art of Cocktail Making: An Essential Guide for Beginners, a blog article that we posted that tackles these components in detail.
Although the official use of the word cocktail got out in an article for “The Farmer’s Cabinet” in 1803, the history of its first invention was believed to date back to the 1600s when an owner of an apothecary in London, Richard Soughton, introduced and marketed his invention “Staughton Bitters” to his customers and advised them to mix it in brandy and wine. Many pharmacy-made elixirs are where most of the ideas for a cocktail came from since alcohol was used to preserve flowers, roots, and stems for medicinal purposes in the earlier days. To conceal the nasty taste, apothecaries would add another ingredient to make it more palatable for the sick.
In the 1700s, the first notable mixologist James Ashley created his own punch house in London, while other bartenders in the UK created smaller portions of mixes for single-serve glass.
Later on, the mixed drink reached America and spread rapidly in the country and even became more popular during the prohibition in 1919 when illegal alcohol factories produced awfully tasting bases that they needed to disguise by adding another component to the drink. This gave birth to “speakeasies,” where they would visually hide the alcohol and enhance its taste by adding more ingredients to the drink.
Low-calorie alcoholic drink substitute and healthy ingredients
Although the first idea of cocktails came from being a medicinal drink, it became a recreational beverage that we know today. With lots of sweeteners and mixers available in the market, it’s easier to pick those options. At times we would end up putting more over-the-top components to make the drink even more special and enjoyable. Hence, at times, making the beverage the very reason for your high-calorie intake.
But, great news!
You don’t have to go by the book and strictly follow what a cocktail recipe calls for. In the world of mixology, you have the power to be creative and mix the drink of your own preference.
By adding fresh fruits, herbs, and vegetables to your recipe, you can guarantee the freshest and most nutritious ingredients without the extra calories from the usual components of the cocktail that we used to know! Eliminate those sugary mixers and dive into more organic sweets from nature.
- Pick the right base for your cocktail. Stick with either gluten-free or zero carbs liquor for your cocktails like vodka, tequila, and gin.
- Use the freshest ingredients you can find at home or in the market for your sweeteners and mixer substitutes like lemon and lime or club soda and Sparkling water.
- Try to make your own syrup or flavored mixers at home. This way, you have full control of the amount of sugar you’ll use. You can even incorporate some seasonal holiday flavors!
- Use sugar substitutes for your homemade syrups.
- Use spicy components like Jalapenos or hot sauce to enhance your cocktail’s flavor without contributing more calorie count. Spicy cocktails can help speed up metabolism and digestion too!
- Keep it organic and simple. Try to use more fresh components in your cocktail, like cranberry, watermelon, oranges, and other natural sweeteners you can find. Keep your drink neat. Sometimes the fewer ingredients you add, the healthier it is for you.
- Incorporate ingredients with medicinal properties such as herbs and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, tonic water, lemon grass, or even bitters.
- Use extra ice for dilution.
- Have at least one or two single-serve cocktails in a day.
- Drink moderately and responsibly.
Of course, there are also those low-calorie ready-to-drink cocktail options in the market that you can definitely pick on the go. You can also visit Mount Sinai for in-depth alcoholic calorie count information.
We curated some healthy, low-calorie cocktail recipes that use healthier ingredients for you!
- Best Gin and Tonic
- Bloody Mary (no added sugar and low-calorie)
- Low Carb Negroni
- Keto-Friendly Gimlet
- Skinny Margarita Recipe
- Sea Breeze
- Watermelon and Champagne Cocktail
- Lemon Drop Cocktail
- Kombucha Margarita
- Skinny Strawberry Mojito
There are a multitude of low-calorie and healthy home bar ingredients that can be used to create delicious and guilt-free cocktails. By making small swaps and substitutions, you can still enjoy your favorite drinks without compromising your health goals.
Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or a novice at-home bartender, experimenting with low-calorie and healthy ingredients this holiday season is a fun and creative way to elevate your cocktail game. So next time you're mixing up a holiday drink, why not try adding some fresh mint or muddled berries for a refreshing twist?
Cheers to delicious and healthy cocktails!