Photo: Caitlin Bensel / Greg Dupree / Jennifer Causey

These calorie-conscious cocktails feature seasonal ingredients to make your next nightcap a delicious one. 

Hayley Sugg
November 16, 2017

Winter is here and that means it's time for drinks to warm your bones and party-friendly boozy beverages. While eggnog may be a go-to during this season, its thick texture and calorie-dense ingredients can leave you with a heavy stomach and a blown diet. Instead, reach for these easy and light cocktails which are equally satisfying (bonus: you can make them as a single drink or for a crowd).

Jennifer Causey

Rejuvenating Rosé Spritzer

Stress runs high during the holidays, which could compromise digestion. Kombucha is packed with gut-friendly probiotics to help maintain healthy gut flora, in addition to compounds that fight harmful free radicals. Light and bright, rosé is a great match for effervescent grapefruit, both of which contain rich amounts of flavonoids—powerful plant antioxidants shown to help reduce blood pressure, fight inflammation, and improve vascular function.

Caitlin Bensel

Holiday Coconut Cooler

Wow your guests this holiday season with a whimsical white cocktail. A mix of coconut milk and coconut rum adds Caribbean flair, making even the coldest winter days feel bright and blissful. Entertain a crowd with ease by making a double or triple batch ahead of time—just give it a stir right before garnishing.

Photo: Greg Dupree; Styling: Ginny Branch Stelling

Lemon-Pear Toddy

This hot toddy comes together in a flash thanks to the microwave. A touch of salt, though it may seem counterintuitive, actually heightens the sweetness of the drink, though the beverage is far from cloying. Pear vodka, such as Absolut, can be found at most liquor stores. We love the floral fruit flavor of pear, which is perfect for winter. Cognac adds a little oak-cask richness and complexity to the mix.

Jennifer Causey

Soothing Cardamom Sipper

Wind down at the end of the day with the adult version of a glass of warm milk. Research shows cardamom may help ward off stomach ulcers. It, and sesame seeds (the essential ingredient in tahini), also have heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory benefits. Be sure to use refrigerated coconut milk (found with nut milks in the dairy case) and not canned coconut milk.

Photo: Greg Dupree

Pomegranate Paloma

This is a play on a paloma cocktail, a favorite from Mexico. Rather than using sweet grapefruit soda, we call for fresh grapefruit juice for a fruit-forward beverage with less sugar and more vitamin C than the classic. Calorie-free club soda adds refreshing fizz, while pomegranate’s distinct flavor and bright red color make this cocktail shine. In season from September to January, fresh pomegranates pack a powerful punch of heart-healthy polyphenols.