Healthy Holiday Cocktails: 3 Low-Calorie Drinks to Enjoy this Christmas

By: Teresa Strasser | Jacqui Denker Posted: 10:43 AM, Nov 29, 2018 Updated: 10:44 AM, Nov 29, 2018

Worried that holiday cocktails will ruin your diet? Don’t fret! The List chatted with mixologist PJ Baron at the Hotel Valley Ho in Scottsdale, Arizona, who whipped up three low-calorie cocktails to expand our spirits and not our waistline. 

1. Nimble Nog

Our first calorie-conscious cocktail is The Nimble Nog. It uses eggnog, which can be very polarizing and very fattening. But, we’re here to fix the latter problem by using Captain Morgan, which is 20 calories per serving less than Southern Comfort (more traditional in eggnog drinks).  


  • 1.5 oz. Captain Morgan rum 
  • 1.5 oz. gingerbread spice tea (3 tea bags for 8 oz. of water) 
  • 3 tbsp nonfat Greek yogurt 
  • 3 dashes roasted ginger, ground  
  • 3 dashes allspice, ground
  • 3 dashes cinnamon
  • 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters
  • 1 tsp. Splenda
  • 1 egg


Whisk or whip egg whites with one teaspoon of Splenda until fluffy. Whisk or whip egg yolk separately. Combine all ingredients in mixing glass over ice. Shake vigorously and strain into glassware. Garnish by dotting out a ring shape in froth with Angostura bitters, connect dots and flash out a Christmas wreath design with pick or straw. 

Replacing heavy cream and milk in this drink with nonfat Greek yogurt saves over 150 calories. Replacing the sugar with a great balance of fall and winter flavors gives you not only a lower calorie and carb count, but makes the drink physically lighter and easier to enjoy without feeling full.

Traditional homemade eggnog: 412.3 calories

Store-bought eggnog (full of preservatives and hard to pronounce ingredients): 275 calories

Nimble Dog: 186.5 calories


2. Slinky Mule

Our next low-calorie libation is the Slinky Mule. We’re using apple vodka for our drink, which actually has less calories than regular vodka. It’s also lower in calories than most other flavored vodkas.


  • 1.5 oz. Frankly Apple Vodka
  • 0.75 oz. apple green chili purée
  • 3 oz. ginger beer
  • 2 dashes Fee Brothers Cranberry Bitters


Build in traditional copper mug with ice. Garnish with dehydrated apple and cinnamon stick.  

Apple and green chili purée replaces flavoring syrups in this recipe. Diet ginger beer and cranberry bitters replace Holiday Edition Cranberry Canada Dry Ginger Ale. A Slinky Mule will total around 244 calories.


3. Slim Shady

Our final slender sipper is the Slim Shady. In this cocktail, we’re using natural oils from orange peels and orange blossom water to replace the flavors and complexity from an orange liqueur like Triple Sec or the traditional Cointreau.  


  • 1.5 oz. Sombra Mezcal (infused with orange peels for ten days)
  • 1 oz. lemon
  • 0.5 oz. lime
  • 0.5 oz. orange juice
  • 0.25 oz. Orange Blossom Water


Build in mixing glass, shake over ice and strain into glassware.

The natural sweetness from orange juice will replace the need for agave nectar. Sombra Mezcal is 90 proof while most standard tequilas are only 80, which means the Slim Shady packs the same punch as some of the larger margaritas. 

Traditional margarita (small): 325 calories

Slim Shady: 147.5 calories


So, there you have it. Your weight loss goals shouldn’t be at risk over the holidays. These three low-cal alternatives to your favorite winter cocktails will keep you on track to staying healthy. 


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