Holiday Cocktails

Holiday Cocktails
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Holiday Cocktails

It’s the drinking-est time of the year, so this post is all about Holiday Cocktails. Each of these cocktails has a personality quirk that makes it juuuust a little more worthy than the millions of drinks out there.

Let’s start with a personal favorite of mine: A dry gin martini. Actually, any clear booze is a very serviceable martini for several reasons.

  • It’s a good buzz for your calorie-buck.
  • If you over-indulge the hangover is less painful than with dark alcohol.
  • You can finally find martini glasses with substantial stems. Like these these, or these.

To decrease the calories even more, drink the gin straight up without the vermouth. It’s not really a martini anymore, but it gets the job done.

Of course, you need a cocktail shaker to make a martini or serve any booze straight up.

Gin Martini – Nice Buzz For Your Calorie-BuckMartini

Gin Martini

Servings 1
Calories 202 kcal


  • 2 1/2 oz gin I like Bombay Sapphire
  • 1/2 oz vermouth
  • ice
  • 1 lemon twist for garnish


  • Chill martini glass in the freezer or refrigerator. Put ice in a shaker, pour gin and vermouth over the ice and shake. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lemon twist.


Make no mistake. This is jet fuel. It's an acquired taste that suits those dedicated to obtaining a goodly buzz without the calorie cost of mixers or the hangover messiness of sugar syrups and real sodas. One will do you. 🙂

Bloody Mary – “Healthy” Any Time Of Day

A good Bloody Mary fits as many situations as there are variations of Bloody Marys. The right Bloody Mary mix is a matter of taste, and Zing Zang has a pretty good following. This recipe is for a “naked” Bloody Mary. It’s simple and garnish-free.

If naked is not your thing, check out this exhaustive list of Bloody Mary garnishes. If you need even more inspiration to make a Bloody Mary, check out why some people include it on the “healthiest” alcoholic drinks list.

Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Servings 1
Calories 272 kcal


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz limoncello
  • 6 oz Bloody Mary mix I used Zing Zang
  • dash Worcestershire sauce
  • dash Tabasco sauce


  • Put ice into a tall glass. Add the Bloody Mary mix, the vodka, and the limoncello. Throw in a dash or two of Worcestershire and Tabasco sauce. Done. Or, garnish as desired.


The bloody mary is a workhorse cocktail. It can do breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner, the tomato juice counts as a vegetable, and the spiciness is completely customizable. It has a reputation for being able to cure a hangover, but I think that's complete metabolic/molecular hogwash. Adding more poison to an already poisoned system can't make sense.  

Kombucha Highball – Probiotics Save Your Gut

Kombucha is a staple in my house. I love the stuff and am a believer in the probiotic gut health benefits of it. (Yes, I make it at home.) It seemed natural to create a kombucha cocktail, and I am not the only one who wants some good bacteria with their booze.

Kombucha Highball

Kombucha Highball

Servings 1
Calories 313 kcal


  • 1/4 c limoncello
  • 1/4 c diet cranberry juice
  • 1/4 c Guava Goddess Kombucha
  • 1/2 c plain La Croix
  • 1/2 - 2 oz vodka


  • If you want the cute square ice cubes place a cranberry in each square and freeze. And, if you are bothering to make the cubes go ahead and chill the glasses, too. Place ice in the glass put in all the ingredients and stir.


Most of the calories in this drink come from the limoncello (203 in 1/4 cup) and the vodka (90 in an ounce.) The calorie cost of kombucha varies with flavors and brands. The La Croix provides calorie-free carbonation.

Coconut Water And Vodka – Nature’s Sports Drink Gets An Upgrade

This simple concoction is surprisingly drinkable. Coconut water is having a moment because of its health benefits. If you crack open a coconut and use that water, instead of cracking open a can, bottle, or carton, even better. (Any portable package handcrafted by Mother Nature is better than any portable package made in a factory.)

Coconut Water and Vodka

Coconut Water

Servings 1
Calories 130 kcal


  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c coconut water
  • 1 oz vodka


  • Put ice in a glass, pour all the ingredients over ice and stir.


The coconut water isn't overly coconutty and it has the perfect amount of natural sweetness to it. 

Hot Toddy – Because You Need To Relax, Too

The holidays are so busy, so glitzy, so over-the-top now that I felt the need to include at least one cozy-up-and-relax-cocktail. And, I’m doing my part to educate the masses: we’ve all heard about Hot Toddies, but do you really know what it is?

Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy

Servings 1
Calories 166 kcal


  • 1 tea bag herbal or regular
  • 8 oz steaming/boiling water
  • 1 oz bourbon
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 wedge lemon


  • Boil 8 oz water. Place the tea bag in your cup, add the hot water and steep the tea. Add the bourbon, honey, and lemon. Sit back and enjoy.


There are roughly 100 calories in the ounce of bourbon and 66 in the T of honey. It's a lot of calories for a cup of tea, but, it's a very good cup of tea.

All Kidding Aside …

I come from a long line of alcoholics and know a thing or two about the staggering losses attributable to booze. The bottom line is this: That soft floaty feeling you get after one or two drinks is fleeting. Nothing good can come from trying to make a fleeting thing last. So, if you need help, please get it. It’s never too late – I know a 92-year-old who quit drinking at 82.


If you just want help with the occasional hangover, take some milk thistle.


You’re welcome.

The gold glasses in this post are from Home Goods. Click for something similar like these from Amazon. The bloody mary glass with the gold rim I found in a Goodwill shop, but astonishingly (or not) even they are available at Amazon.

Happy Holidays!

The Amazon links are affiliate links.



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    1. It’s fermented tea – supposedly dating as far back as 221 BC. Right now it’s having a moment because it has probiotics in it. It’s lightly carbonated and some flavors have a vinegary taste. I started drinking it in an effort to stop drinking soda – I like the carbonation. You can make it at home – you need a starter SCOBY. (Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.) Purchased kombucha should not have any alcohol in it – not sure about my home brews, though.
      There are multiple flavors and brands. The more fruity ones have more calories. I get it at Target, Hy-Vee, Whole Foods.

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