All I want for Christmas… Is a Drink

If ever there was a time to treat yourself, it’s the holiday season. And after indulging in starchy foods, sugary sweets and excessive family time, we know that all you really want – or need – is a drink. Moderation is the one tried-and-true tip to not damage your waistline too much. There’s no cocktail out there that is truly “healthy,” but one or two of these won’t ruin your hard work in the gym – it’s the third, fourth … eighth that’ll do it to ya. The following drinks were concocted to contain more whole foods, less calories and more natural substitutes.

So, with temperance aside, try your hand at some of these healthier cocktails that are still delicious:

emilycocktails-18Jamaican Hot Chocolate

We replaced a traditional hot chocolate mix that is usually full of sugar and fat (depending on if it’s made from milk or water) with a much more natural version from Native Cold Pressed. The Coconut Cocoa Shake is made from fresh coconut meat and coconut water combined with cocoa and chilies. Although you probably lose a bit of the health benefits from the heating process, it’s still lower in overall sugar and fat than any other mix.

1.5 ounces Appleton Estate Jamaican Rum

3 ounces Native Cold Pressed Coconut Cocoa Shake

1 tablespoon whipped coconut cream

Garnish with shaved dark chocolate with chilies

1. Heat Coconut Cocoa Shake on stovetop. Add rum to cocktail mug, fill with heated shake about one inch below the rim, stir to combine. Top with

whipped coconut cream and shaved chocolate. For the chocolate garnish, I like to find a candy bar with the highest percentage of cocoa and a little bit of spicy chili pepper flavor.

2. To make the whipped coconut cream, place a can of whole fat coconut milk upside down in the fridge overnight. After 12 hours in the fridge, open the can from the bottom. Gently scoop out the coconut solids, doing your best not to include any of the coconut water. The coconut water is great in smoothies and other applications, but not for your whipped cream! Place the coconut solids in your blender and whip to stiff peaks (three – five minutes). Once you’ve achieved stiff peaks, add one teaspoon vanilla extract and one tablespoon of maple syrup, and whip again to combine. Store in the fridge and re-whip as necessary.


Photos by Megan Leigh Barnard

My Darling’s Champagne Cocktail

A traditional champagne cocktail is made with a full sugar cube soaked in bitters and topped with champagne, as well as very sugary cordials like Grand Marnier in many cases. But by utilizing fresh clementines, we’ve made a no-sugar-added version that’s packed with flavor but with fewer calories.

4 clementine orange supremes

4 dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters

4 ounces of Segura Viudas Brut Cava

Place the supremes (whole slices of only the fruit, no rind) and orange bitters in the bottom of a champagne flute. Press the supremes with the back of a bar spoon to extract the juice and combine with bitters. Top with cava, brut champagne or sparkling wine.


Photo by Megan Leigh Barnard

Resolve to be Cosmopolitan

This cosmopolitan is also a cocktail without added sugar. By infusing the vodka with orange and cranberry, we can achieve the same flavor as if we had used triple sec and cranberry juice cocktail, but with significantly less added sugar. You’re still getting natural sugars from the fresh juices, but it’s a healthier version than the original.

2 ounces cranberry and orange-infused Grey Goose Vodka

½ ounce fresh orange juice

¼ ounce fresh lime juice

1. Muddle three to four fresh cranberries in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add liquid ingredients to the shaker tin with ice, shake hard. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with fresh cranberries and orange zest on a cocktail pick.

2. To infuse the vodka, combine one bag of fresh cranberries with the fresh peels of three oranges in an iSi whip cream maker. Charge twice with nitrous canisters, shake vigorously for 60 seconds and place in a freezer for about 15 minutes. Remove from freezer, shake again for about 30 seconds. Release gas pressure and strain out the vodka. Save cranberries to muddle into the cocktail and for use on garnish.