SkinnyChef.com founder Jennifer Iserloh says the most important thing to consider as you navigate those trays of cocktails and open bars is portion size.
"Even just with your average glass of wine, you're looking at anywhere from 110 to 150 calories, depending on how people pour it," she cautions. A great technique is to cut your wine with sparkling water -- or fix yourself a wine spritzer by adding club soda and a splash of fruit juice.
MORE: 58 Ways to Burn 100 Calories
The idea with the holiday season, says Iserloh, is to be able to have a little something every time you go out, without totally overdoing it and consuming a zillion calories in just a few drinks at your first holiday party. With that in mind, Iserloh recommends making a nice low-cal drink and bringing it along -- you'll be assured of a yummy cocktail and your host will love you!
Looking for ideas? We love these three SELF recipes: The party-in-a-glass Peppermint Cosmo (only 70 calories), this scrumptious Ginger Champagne Cocktail (150 calories) and this 110 calorie Cosmo with orange zest.
Here are five more low-cal ideas from the Skinny Chef:
1. Skinny Holiday Wine Coolers
Embrace the '80s! Start with 5 ounces of white wine, add a splash of cranberry juice, pomegranate juice or mint extract and garnish with mint leaves and/or a miniature candy cane. (About 100 calories per glass)
For a "sugar plum" version, try a splash of plum juice!
This Italian cousin of champagne is not only more affordable, but it's only 100 calories for 5 ounces, which, poured into a champagne flute, looks fun and festive and is just as bubbly-delicious. (100 calories per glass)
MORE: 7 Ways to Ward Off Holiday Weight Gain
3. Skinny Kir
A traditional Kir Royal, made with Champagne and Creme de Cassis (blackcurrant liqueur) can pack up to 200 calories per glass. For a just-as-merry version, Iserloh recommends skipping the liqueur and adding a splash of cranberry or pomegranate juice to your sparkling wine instead. (About 100 calories per glass)
4. Skinny Peppermint Mojito
Take this SELF mojito recipe, which is only 150 calories per serving, use peppermint extract instead of the lime and cut each glass with a little club soda. This would also be fun garnished with a mini candy cane! (About 100-125 calories per glass)
5. Hot Mulled Wine
Mulled spice wine, says Iserloh, typically has a cup of sugar for every couple of glasses (that's not a typo), plus rum. You can get the same yummy, hot-and-spicy effect with a simpler version: Take 5 ounces of red wine, add a little water and heat in a saucepan along with a teabag of mulling spices. You can add 1/2 tsp of sugar if it needs a little sweetening, and your total calories per glass will still be much less than a traditional serving of mulled wine. (About 150 calories per serving)
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