Who doesn’t relish in a good cocktail when the festive season rolls around? While we love Christmas cocktail recipes, we don’t love the extra calories that some of them bring.
One serving of spirits (about 45ml) can contain at least 60-100 calories on its own, even before you add the mixers. So, as with everything, to keep excessive empty-calorie intake at bay and for the sake of your health, drink in moderation and keep it to a minimum. Try alternating your drinks with water, or even just a non-alcoholic beverage (we love warm spiced apple juice); your waistline, and your head, will be thanking you the next day.
While these recipes aren’t calorie free, they’re lower calorie versions since they have less sugar than most cocktails due to relying more on natural fruit sugars and flavours, rather than syrups.
Two delicious lower calorie Christmas cocktail recipes
1. Sleigh Bell Cider (A variation on Hot Toddies)
Ingredients – Serves 16
- 3.8L apple cider
- 1 orange sliced
- 1 lemon sliced
- Sleigh Bell blend (mix 120ml Maker’s 46 Bourbon, 90ml Laird’s Applejack Brandy, 60ml Tuaca (Tuscan Orange Liqueur) and 30ml Canton Ginger Liqueur. Pour into glass bottle for storage.
- Combine all the ingredients except for the Sleigh Bell blend in a medium to large sauce pan.
- Bring all ingredients to a simmer. Keep it hot on the stove for your guests.
- To serve, place 3 tbsp of the Sleigh Bell blend into a warmed 180ml coffee cup. Ladle hot cider into the cup, garnish with a quarter slice of orange studded with two cloves and enjoy!
2. Festive Old Fashioned
Ingredients – Serves 1
- 45ml bourbon whiskey (Buffalo Trace or Maker’s 46)
- 3 dashes Bitter Truth’s “Jerry Thomas own Decanter Bitters” (lots of winter spices)
- 1 slice orange cut into two half moons,
1 tbsp Drunken Cranberries (recipe below)
- Muddle the half-slice of orange with the cranberries and bitters until well combined and aromatic.
- Add the bourbon, stir well.
- Add ice and stir again until the glass frosts, adding ice as it melts
- Garnish with the other orange moon, a small spoon of cranberries and rosemary dusted with powdered sugar (if desired).
For the Drunken Cranberries
- 300g frozen or fresh cranberries
- 100g of sugar,120ml of water
- 1 cinnamon stick,
- ½ orange peel,
- 240ml silver rum
Boil the cranberries with water, sugar, cinnamon and orange for 5 minutes or until the cranberries start to pop.
Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature before adding in the rum. Refrigerate for up to one month.
(Cheat: Find a good whole berry cranberry sauce and add Captain Morgan or another spiced rum in equal portions to the cranberry sauce.)
By Amy Sung
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