Whether you’re going out to a fancy party or staying at home in your pajamas to watch the ball drop, chances are you will be toasting the new year with a drink. And chances are you don’t want to start off 2018 feeling super hung-over, bloated or feeling guilty about what you consumed on new years eve.
While sometimes the choices are obvious….
Sometimes, what you think might be a good choice is actually a sugar-laden calorie bomb.
Let’s start with what is typically a safer choice than the fancy cocktail drinks (usually full of syrupy sweet mixers and artificial colors/flavors):
An easy first step in choosing a lower calorie wine is to check the alcohol content or the ABV (Alcohol by Volume) percentage. ABVs in wine range from 9-17%. Since alcohol has 7 calories/gram and carbohydrates have 4 calories/gram, the alcohol content has a greater impact on the calorie level of the wine. A good rule of thumb is to choose wine with an ABV of 9-12%, which will keep each glass around 110-140 calories/6oz pour.
If you’re at a party or event and can’t check the ABV, choose a white wine. Whites are generally lower in alcohol and calories than reds. The lighter whites are riesling and pinot grigio as opposed to chardonnay and sauvignon blancs which are higher in alcohol content. Whereas, reds like syrah and pinot noir can have up to 200 calories/glass. While it’s not a dramatic difference in white vs red…it can add up over the course of the night and wouldn’t you rather save some of those calories for some party appetizers?
An even smarter choice than white wine? Our personal favorite:
Sparkling wine averages 95 calories/4oz glass. Choosing a brut version will result in the least amount sugar and calorie content The bubbles tend to result in your sipping it slower than wine, so you tend to drink less over the course of the night. Champagne has been linked to many health benefits. It has the same heart healthy components of red wine. It’s good for your skin: full of antioxidants and tartaric acid (helps even out skin tone). It also has been shown to help prevent memory loss, dementia and may even help combat Alzheimer’s disease. A study conducted at the University of Reading showed that the brain boosting properties of champagne can be attributed to the phenolic compounds found in the two red grape types used to produce the alcohol.
This can be a surprisingly healthy choice considering beer is 90-95% water and with ingredients like hops, yeast and grains can provide some vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Like wine, check the ABV, which ranges from 3-13% to help you decide. There is a wide range in calorie levels so choose your beer wisely!
Anheuser-Busch Ice Pale Lager: 171 calories
Pete’s Wicked Ale 172 calories
Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 176 calories
Guiness Extra Stout: 176 calories
Samuel Adams Boston Lager: 180 calories
Budweiser Select: 55 calories
Miller 64: 64 calories
Amstel Light: 95 calories
Michelob Ultra: 95 calories
Corona Light: 99 calories
For parties and special occasions, it’s fun to have a festive cocktail. However, there is a HUGE range when it comes to calorie levels in cocktails. Not to mention all the unhealthy, artificial ingredients than are commonly mixed in. So choose your cocktail wisely!
Dessert in a glass:
Mudslide: 594 calories/12.5oz
Mai Tai: 620 calories/9oz
Pina Colada: 644 calories/6oz
Margarita: 740 calories/8.5oz
Long Island Ice Tea: 780 calories/7oz
Lower Cal Options:
Classic Martini: 176 calories
Classic Mojito: 168 calories
Old Fashioned: 154 calories
Gin & Tonic: 148 calories
Vodka Soda: 96 calories
While it’s only NYE once per year and you are completely entitled to go wild and indulge in a Margarita (or 3!), if you are looking for some healthier options….we have a few simple recipe suggestions for you. In addition to the recipes below, try adding 1 shot of bourbon to our Healthier Hot Cocoa. Whiskey is high in the antioxidant ellagic acid, which can decrease the risk of cancer and heart disease.
No matter what you’re drinking, remember to stay hydrated to help prevent a hang-over. Not a fun way to start the new year. Drink plenty of water throughout the day so you are starting the evening well hydrated. Then alternate every alcoholic beverage with a glass of water. Other healthy options are decaf tea or coconut water which contains potassium, sodium, magnesium and phosphorus. Coconut water has been shown to re-hydrate as well as sports drinks, yet is all natural and lower in sugar.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!
Pomegranate Raspberry Moscow Mule
A sweet drink, with no added sugars or fake colors. Pomegranates are high in vitamins A, C and E with 3 times as many antioxidants as both green tea or wine. The seeds can stay in the fridge for up to 3 days and the freezer up to 6 months.
- 1 shot vodka
- 3 oz pomegranate juice
- 5 oz ginger beer
- 1 oz raspberry puree
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 cup ice
- 5 mint leaves garnish
- 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds garnish
mix all ingredients (except mint and seeds) together and pour over ice.
lightly slap the mint leaves in your hands to release aroma/flavor. Add to top of drink
sprinkle pomegranate seeds over top of drink
An easy, delicious combination: champagne and apple cider! Apple cider is made from the juice of extracted from pureed apple pulp. Full of phytochemicals: phenolics, carotenoids and flavonoids- all crucial in preventing chronic disease. Mixed with the health benefits of champagne and cinnamon flavors. Perfect for sipping on winter nights.
- 3 oz apple cider 100% juice, no added sugar
- 4 oz champagne
- 1 cinnamon stick garnish
- 1 tbsp sugar garnish
- 1 tbsp cinnamon garnish
- 1 slice apple garnish
mix sugar and cinnamon together
dip rim of glass in apple cider, then dip in cinnamon sugar mixture. dip apple slice in mixture and place on rim of glass
pour cider and champagne together in glass
garnish with cinnamon stick
Serve in champagne glass. Serving size pictured much larger as we were up in the mountains and the cabin was not stocked with champagne flutes (the tragedy!)
For a stronger version: swap out 1 oz of the champagne for 1 oz of brandy.