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Holiday Alcohol Consumption: Tips & Recipes

Part of unwinding and celebrating the holidays for many is to enjoy a glass of wine, beer or a holiday cocktail. Many people ask us: What is the healthiest way to consume alcohol? Here are some recommendations:

1. It is best to consume alcohol with food (not on an empty stomach). Food helps to absorb the alcohol and avoid feeling sick or nauseous.
2. Staying hydrated is key. If you plan to drink alcohol, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day and between drinks.
3. Sugar from sweet mixers or liquors is the most harmful part of many cocktails. Often the simpler and more bitter the drink the healthier it is for you and the better you will feel tomorrow.

Which beverages are healthiest? The alcoholic beverage that packs the biggest punch with regards to antioxidants and nutrition is red wine. Besides having fewer carbs and calories per drink, the antioxidants in red wine are believed to reduce the risk of depression, cancer, diabetes and many believe that wine aids the body in digestions. When served neat, hard liquor can be the lowest calorie and carbohydrate option, but for many this is too harsh for the system or just too strong.

In the spirit of holidays, a few of us at Naturna have come up with several holiday beverages (in moderation) that have some added nutritional benefit. Cheers!

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Recipes from Christina Burns, Founder and Doctor of Chinese Medicine

Boozy Suzy with Liver/Gallbladder Support

Grapefruit juice (fresh squeezed juice is best, but bottled/boxed juice is okay)
1 oz or more Tequila of Mezcal
Sprig of fresh rosemary
Perrier/ Pellegrino or soda water
Honey or pure maple syrup (optional)

1. Muddle rosemary into a short glass with muddler or wooden spoon
2. Add a big ice cube
3. Add 1/4-1/3 part grapefruit juice
4. Fill remainder with Perrier/Pellegrino or soda water
5. Add honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)

Low-Cal Very Berry Vodka Iced Tea

Choose berry flavored tea of choice (raspberry, mixed berry, pomegranate, etc.)
Vodka of your choice (Kettle, Grey Goose, Smirnoff, other)
Berries of choice
Maple syrup or honey (optional)

1. Use 3 tea bags per 1 liter of liquid
2. Put tea bags in heat-proof pitcher or bowl
3. Boil 1 liter water, then pour water over the tea bags
4. Let tea cool (speed up cooling by placing in fridge or freezer)
5. Pour 1 oz Vodka in a cup
6. Muddle 1 tsp berries and 1 sprig fresh mint in liquor
7. Squeeze some lime juice in the cup
8. Add ice
9. Pour in cooled berry tea
10. Add honey or maple syrup to taste (optional)

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Recipes from Kirsten Jordan, Functional Nutrition Coach

This is a great pitcher drink to make for a group to pour or pass.

Modified Spritz

3 cups ice
1/2-1 bottle Pellegrino
1 bottle Prosecco or champagne
1 orange
3 oz shots poured of Campari

1. Slice orange into 8 very thin slices
2. Combine ingredients into a large pitcher in the order listed above
3. Pour into glasses

Warming Herbal Hot Toddies

8 ounces hot water
1 bag herbal tea (Bengal Spice tea is a favorite of mine or another herbal winter spice tea)
1 ounce bourbon
1 tbsp honey (optional)
1 lemon wedge

1. Put tea bag in mug
2. Pour hot water into the mug
3. Steep tea for 2 to 3 minutes
4. Remove tea bag and add honey, stirring to dissolve
5. Pour in bourbon
5. Add a squeeze of lemon, to taste, then stir

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Recipe by Kelley Mondesiré, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

This is an easy and favorite hot drink for a cold winter day or to sit around the tree and celebrate the holidays!

Hot Caribou Punch

Bottle of Caribou (It’s a combination of red wine, whiskey and herbs, and can be found in most large liquor stores.)
1-2 Oranges

1. Heat up one bottle of Caribou on low heat in a non-reactive pot
2. Once liquid is hot, pour into a heat-resistant decorative bowl
3. Add slices of orange to marinate

Viola! You have the perfect hot punch!  Enjoy!

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Recipe by Jessica Sowards, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine

Here’s a sparkling and easy holiday favorite of mine!

Sparkling New Year’s Eve Spritzer

1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1-1/2 cups packed mint leaves. 12 Mint sprigs for garnish
6 limes cut into wedges
1/2 cup sweet cranberry juice
One clove
2 cups light Rum
Cracked ice
3 cups champagne
Large pitcher
Smaller pitcher

1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, then heat at medium until sugar dissolves
2. Cool sugar water to room temperature
3. Slice lime into wedges
4. In a large pitcher, combine sugar syrup, mint leaves, lime wedges, and clove
5. Muddle ingredients well with wooden spoon
6. Add rum and stir well
7. Strain liquid into smaller pitcher
8. Fill a tall glass with ice, then fill glass 2/3 full with liquid in small pitcher
9. Top glass with champagne
10. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve


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Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year from the Naturna team!