Everyone likes to indulge every now and again, and the holidays always offer a good occasion to grab a cookie and a cocktail and fully enjoy yourself.
We asked nine wellness experts what drink they choose, if they decide to have a festive tipple. Here's what they said:
1. Bloody Mary (with all the fixings)
"Not only will the tomato juice and horseradish base provide extra nutrients, but the Bloody Mary fixings will slow the body's ability to metabolize and absorb the vodka in the drink, preventing a rapid rise in blood alcohol level (and preventing any poor decisions that may arise from a high blood alcohol level)."
— Kayleen St. John, MS, RD, and Director of Nutrition Education and Programming at Natural Gourmet Institute
"I drink one glass of wine (only ever with food) three to four nights per week. Go for natural (I'd describe it as 'minimally fiddled with') wines, keeping things as simple as possible and close to the ancient practice of squashing some handpicked grapes in a vat.
"Plus, wine contains minimal fructose, which, if you're looking for low-/no-sugar options, is your best choice. Red wine is lower in fructose than white and is definitely the best option."
— Sarah Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of I Quit Sugar
3. Organic Tequila
"This may seem like a strange recommendation from a nutritionist, but tequila actually has amazing flavors, and is less harsh than vodka, when you choose to sip as opposed to downing it as a shot. The cleaner organic options will result in minimal hangover when consumed responsibly. Pour into a glass and sip on it.
"And if you are opting to drink, be mindful of your consumption. Be sure to steer clear of those 'signature' holiday cocktails as they are likely loaded with a mix of alcohols and sugar-laden mixers, which will hit harder than cleaner, simpler options."
— Meghan Telpner, Nutritionist
4. Vodka Soda with Cucumber and Lemon Twist
"Vodka is sugar-free and lower in calories. Soda water keeps you hydrated and provides the satisfaction of carbonation without the sugar hangover. Stir in a slice of cucumber and a lemon twist to infuse it with some vitamins and a delicious, luxurious, all-natural flavor. Voilà!"
— Abigail Keeso, Culinary Nutrition Expert and Co-Founder ofThatCleanLife.com
5. Gin Pom Fizz
"Made from the antioxidant-rich juniper berry, gin is also often flavored by natural herbs including nutmeg, rosemary, or coriander. Because gin is devoid of sugar, the risk of inflammation in the body after consumption is much less than other alcoholic beverages.
"I don't drink often but when the mood strikes, I fancy a homemade Gin Pom Fizz paired with soda (a less sugary tonic alternative), pomegranate seeds, and a fresh squeeze of lime.
"Gin makes a great base for other healthy cocktails because of its natural flavor profile; think combinations like cucumber and rosemary or raspberry and thyme. Cheers!"
— Jamie Lee Mock, Registered Holistic Nutritionist
6. Red Wine (or Champagne!)
"When out, I usually opt for an antioxidant-packed glass of red wine; I love Silver Oak Cabernet or Twomey Pinot — and Moët & Chandon for any celebratory nights!
"I'm a total lover of quality wines from California, don't ever go for the cheap stuff! Key to ditching any hangover: Drink a ton of water before going out and lay off the sugar!"
— Candice Kumai, Wellness Journalist, five-time best-selling author of the Clean Green book brand
7. Fermented Apple Cider
"Shoot for drinks that are higher in antioxidants, such as red wine or fermented apple cider. Red wine contains the antioxidant resveratrol, and fermented apple cider is a type of beer that's gluten-free and contains the phytonutrient quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory.
"When drinking, I recommend just a single glass or serving for health benefits."
— Josh Axe, MD
8. Tequila and Fresh Lime
"When I'm home cooking, I love having a glass of organic sulfite-free red wine. It's a treat to indulge and know I'm not consuming any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, or chemicals. Plus, I never have a headache the next morning!
"When I'm out with friends and organic wine isn't available, I go for the most hydrating option (and an option I often recommend to clients), which is Topo Chico, 100 percent pure agave tequila, and fresh squeezed lime.
"Topo Chico is sparkling mineral water bottled in Mexico and, in my opinion, the tastiest and most perfect match for tequila. Tequila is low in sugar and calories, and doesn't leave you feeling bloated like vodka or beer. Happy and safe drinking!"
— Carly Shankman, Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach
9. Red Wine or Vodka Soda
Red wine contains many health-promoting compounds that can be anti-aging and support cardiovascular health. Unfortunately, many people have allergies or intolerance to some ingredients in wine such as alcohol, amines, or sulphites.
Go for organically produced wines. These wines are produced without added sulphur dioxides/sulphites, making it a better alternative for those with sulphite sensitivity.
Alternatively, try vodka with soda water and fresh lime. Be mindful as many Vodkas are grain based. Potato based Vodka is gluten and sugar free and is low in carbohydrates. Be careful not to use tonic water instead of soda water, a common mistake. Store bought tonic water is often high in added sugar. Some may also contain fruit extracts and quinine to improve the flavour.
— Lynda Griparic, Naturopath, Nutritionist, Yin Yoga Teacher, Health Writer, and Speaker
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