Healthy Buzz: Clean Holiday Cocktail Recipes
By Amina AlTai

The holidays are synonymous with overindulgence and have a knack for testing the willpower of even the fiercest wellness warriors. So many of us save our willpower for the dessert table and we forget about the calories and sugar we can accumulate from a few “harmless” drinks. At an average of 200+ calories a pop, and 25+ grams of sugar, they are certainly not the world’s healthiest food. To help you “tie one on” in the best way possible, we’ve put together some healthier versions of your old holiday standbys.

VEGNOG (HEALTHY VEGAN EGGNOG)

If you want a holiday mocktail or a version of eggnog even the kiddies can drink, this is a great option. If you want to spike it, add your usual rum or bourbon to taste.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup pecans
4 cups coconut water
1 cup dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* Optional 3/4 cup dark rum or bourbon

This recipe makes a full pitcher. Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Why we love it: The pecans add some much needed fat and protein to this traditionally sugar-rich beverage. Those macronutrients help to mitigate any blood sugar spikes that can occur from too much sugar. Cinnamon is also a great ingredient for sugary beverages as it has reported blood sugar lowering properties.

Fall and winter sangria

POMEGRANATE SPRITZER

This festive-looking little number is perfect for a party or even a night where you just want to Netflix and chill.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup of sparkling water
1 tbs of coconut water crystals
3 ounces of vodka
2 tablespoons of pomegranate seeds
1 cup of ice

Combine vodka and coconut crystals in a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake for about 5 seconds. Strain out the ice and pour into a class. Add pomegranate seeds and enjoy!

Why we love it: Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants and when combined with the coconut crystals, this drink becomes an antioxidant and electrolyte powerhouse. It’s a great way to balance the dehydrating effects of alcohol.

Large jar of sangria

HOLIDAY SANGRIA

Sangria is always in season! However, it can be a hangover nightmare as it’s usually loaded with table sugar. Cheers to a lighter and healthier option!

INGREDIENTS
1 bottle of rose
1 apple, chopped into chunks
1 orange, sliced thinly
5 ounces cranberries
2 cups of freshly brewed green tea
1 tbs of coconut crystals
Sprigs of Rosemary for garnish

Bring five cups of water to a boil and place two tea bags in a big pitcher and let them steep for a few minutes. After about five minutes, place the tea in the fridge to cool.
Chop up the apples and place in a large pitcher with the cranberries. Add the rose and place in the fridge overnight. When you’re ready to serve, add the green tea, rosemary and orange slices.

Why we love it: The green tea adds some great polyphenols such as flavonoids and catechins which are powerful antioxidants. Green tea also has proven fat-burning properties when consumed regularly.

Lime, cucumber, parsley cocktail, detox water

GREEN-MOSA

This healthy take on a the mimosa might raise eyebrows at first, but it will definitely leave guests wanting more!

INGREDIENTS
1 bottle of prosecco
2-3 large cucumbers, juiced (should yield 2-3 cups)
¼ bunch of cilantro, juiced
1-2 tablespoon of agave (optional)

Chill the prosecco in the fridge for an hour. Once chilled, uncork and pour into a pitcher. Wash and dry the cucumbers and cilantro and run them through the juicer. Add the agave to the cucumber and cilantro juice and stir until well mixed. Pour into the prosecco, stir and serve!

Why we love it: It’s basically spiked green juice! Cucumber is known for it’s breath freshening properties as well as it’s ability to fight inflammation. It’s a perfect pairing with alcohol, which has pro-inflammatory properties.

headshotAmina AlTai is a health coach, personal trainer, and wellness marketing professional in NYC. Follow her on instagram at @busyhappyhealthy and read her blog at www.busyhappyhealthy.com