Holiday cocktails enliven any holiday event. They enhance an especially merry atmosphere. You gather with friends, relatives or business colleagues to have a good time. The drinks may have magical, bright yellow, pink and red colors and are served in glasses with creative sprigs of lemon, lime, cherries and anything else the host thinks up.
Watch What You Drink
All that's beautiful on the outside, but it may not be good for you on the inside. Watch what you're drinking this coming holiday season. Here are four holiday cocktails to avoid.
Unless you have a designated driver and will be in safe company if tipsy, avoid any drink that has diet soda. Researchers from the University of Adelaide discovered that artificially sweetened soda had an extreme effect on alcohol absorption into the bloodstream. Simply put, diet soda mixed with alcohol gets you drunk faster. In the vast majority of life's situations, this is not a good idea. Nutrition experts say there are better ways to save drink calories, such as replacing the diet soda and alcohol drink with a four-ounce glass of champagne, which is under 100 calories.
Out of all the holiday cocktails, any "egg nog" drink appears to get the very worst rating among nutritionists. When you consider the calories and fat involved, it's easy to see why. For dieters trying to lose excess pounds, the ingredients pose a nightmare: egg yolks, cream, sugar and some sort of alcohol, usually rum. You are more or less drinking two doughnuts with distilled spirits. One egg nog recipe, for example, amounts to 400 calories and 20 grams of fat. That's just one cup.
There are assorted drinks that look exotic and taste even more exotic because they are mixtures, or "grogs," of concoctions. Long Island Iced Tea, for example, is popular in clubs but does not get a favorable rating from health experts. That's because Long Island Iced Tea is a mixture of five different alcohols, sweet and sour mix and Coke. Depending on the size of the glass and recipe, you had best count up to 500 calories for just one glass of this drink.
According to the American Dietetic Association, any fruity, festive drink such as the colorful ones you see festooned with toothpick umbrellas, had best be avoided, because they're loaded with sugar. Pina Coladas are a diet disaster because they tend to be served up in giant-sized glasses. Pleasant to the taste, they are easy to finish and when you do, yoiu can say hello to as many as 400 calories for just a six-ounce glass; that makes 800 calories for a 12-ounce serving.
The above four seem to cover what you will see on the trays this holiday season. Don't be discouraged. There are fine holiday drinks that do not carry the dangers of too much alcohol at once or too much sugar and fat. There is always diet-friendly champagne, or a wine spritzer made of wine and soda water, to liven up your night.