10 Ways to Make Healthier Holiday Cocktails

These seasonal boozy beverages & alcohol-free drinks will bring cheer to the holiday season.

By: Lexy Parsons

‘Tis the season to eat, drink, and be merry — the holidays are meant to be enjoyed! With that said, there are some easy (and delicious) holiday swaps that can help you mindfully enjoy a delicious holiday cocktail while still staying on track with your wellness goals you’ve been working on all year!  Yes, healthier holiday cocktails DO exist, and let me tell you, they are delicious as ever.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Indulge Mindfully & Stay Healthy During The Holidays

5 Tips on Making Healthy Holiday Cocktails 

#1 Skip Pre-Made Mixers & Be Mindful of Sugar

While we often blame the holiday baked goods for all the added sugar this time of year, don’t discount the sneaky sugars hidden in your favorite seasonal sips. The good news is that you can keep the sugar to a minimum with these healthy cocktail tips:

Avoid Sweetened Juices and Pre-Made Mixers: Instead, opt for natural alternatives like fresh-pressed juices low in sugar (such as fresh citrus or cranberry juice).

Skip The Soda (diet soda included!): Goodbye, sneaky sugars, and artificial ingredients! Swap the soda for seltzer or functional bubbly beverages such as Olipop

If You’re Adding a Sweetener, Make it All-Natural. Simple syrup may sound delicious in a seasonal cocktail, but keep in mind, it’s literally sipping on sugar water. Make a healthier holiday cocktail with a touch of all-natural sweetness from real fruit or a drizzle of honey, date syrup, maple syrup, or agave.  

#2 Use a Dairy-Free Base for Creamy Holiday Cocktails 

While a traditional creamy cocktail (such as a White Russian) may taste delicious, it’s made with calorie-laden heavy cream and sugary liqueur that could cost you upwards of 600 calories — for a single 8 oz. serving. Good news, you can still achieve a deliciously creamy base with dairy-free alternatives! 

To achieve that thick and creamy consistency, we love cashew, oat, almond, or coconut milk! Just make sure to opt for an unsweetened version — you’ll save calories and give your beverage a nutrient boost!

#3 Monitor Your Portion Sizes 

While the occasional drink can fit into a healthy lifestyle, moderation is key. Alcohol is calorie-heavy (clocking in at seven calories per gram), and those extra servings add up. Not to mention the sugar, fat, and calorie content in your favorite mixers. So, sip smart and pour wisely! Keep your servings on the conservative side. 

RELATED: Can You Drink Alcohol If You’re Trying to Lose Weight? 

#4 Boost Your Boozy Beverage with Wholesome Nutrients 

Keep your ingredients as whole and nutritious as possible! Here are some tasty ideas for a healthier holiday cocktail:

Give Your Cocktail an Antioxidant Boost: Try freshly crushed raspberries and blueberries.

Opt For Cacao Powder: If you’re making a chocolatey drink like hot cocoa, swap processed cocoa for superfood-filled cacao powder.

Skip Artificial Flavoring: Forgo flavor extracts for the actual food itself! Try using real vanilla bean or adding a fresh sprig of mint or rosemary.

Opt For Fresh VS Processed: Use fresh-pressed juice or spices such as ginger, lemon, and orange in place of store-bought, shelf-stable bottles that are often filled with sugar and lower in nutrients

#5 Give Your Cocktail a Sprinkle of Spice (& Everything Nice)

Add warm, seasonal spices like ginger and cinnamon to your healthier holiday cocktails. In addition to elevating the cozy holiday flavor. 

How to Make Non-Alcoholic Holiday Cocktails 

#1 Start With a Healthy Texturized Base

The element that really sets a cocktail apart? Texture! If you want to turn any boozy beverage into a healthy holiday mocktail, skip the liquor and start with a textured base. Depending on your mocktail of choice, this could be a thick and creamy liquid like coconut or cashew milk, or something light and bubbly like seltzer. 

Make it Bubbly: with a fizzy base like sparkling water (we love topo chico), kombucha, or a light ginger beer.

Keep it Light and Flavorful: (without tasting watered down) with fresh-pressed juice like watermelon or green juice.

Make it Thick and Creamy: with non-dairy creamers such as cashew and coconut, or nutritious add-ins like avocado.

#2 Make it Sweet and Sour

Most yummy cocktails have that bitter, tangy taste that leaves a lasting (and tasty) impression in your mouth. This is the sweet and sour element! Luckily, you can achieve the same taste in a healthier (and alcohol-free) way! 

Try this healthier sweet and sour mix:


  • ½ cup water 
  • ½ cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed or pressed
  • ½ cup lime juice, freshly squeezed or pressed
  • ½ cup honey


Step #1: Whisk all of the ingredients until well combined!

Step #2: Use 1-2 tablespoons in your healthy holiday cocktail or mocktail recipe.

Or, incorporate flavors add-ins:

Sour additions such as: kombucha, ginger beer, or fresh citrus juice (think: lemon, lime, or grapefruit).

Sweet flavorings such as: fruit or freshly pressed fruit juices, a drizzle of maple syrup, honey, or agave, or muddled berries.

#3 Add an Element of Freshness 

Don’t be afraid to embrace new flavors here! Highlighting herbs and spices you wouldn’t typically reach for can add a delicious element of freshness (think: lavender or sage) and amplify your holiday flavor. Get creative with your add-ins or garnishes.

Here are some ideas:

  • Mint 
  • Sage
  • Lemon Balm 
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Rose Petals
  • Lavender 
  • Fresh berries (such as raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries)
  • Superfood berries (such as goji berries or acai) 

#4 Amp Up the (All Natural) Flavor & Nutrients

Amp up the all-natural flavor of your base with wholesome additions. This is your opportunity to boost both the flavor and the nutrients! 

Here are some ideas:

  • Embrace seasonal produce with foods like beets, pomegranate, pear, and orange peel
  • Add a spoonful of chia seeds for a superfood boost “Fresca” feel.
  • Uplevel the antioxidants (and taste) by mixing brewed herbal tea into your base.

10 Healthier Holiday Cocktails (+ 1 Bonus 2-Ingredient Simple Syrup)

No matter if you’re craving a boozy beverage or are looking to sip on something alcohol-free (but equally as satisfying), there are lots of tasty ways to enjoy yourself this holiday season. Ahead, our top healthier holiday cocktails and mocktails made with a handful of healthy ingredients that everyone will enjoy!  

#1 Seasonal Sangria 

We skipped the simple syrup and added fresh-pressed juice in this healthy seasonal sangria recipe. Low in sugar and infused with a slew of nutrients like Vitamin C and antioxidants, this healthier twist on a traditional classic will be your new go-to.  


  • 1 bottle red (or white) wine
  • 1 cup sparkling water (can substitute for kombucha or juice)
  • 1 bottle kombucha (can substitute seltzer or ginger beer)
  • ½ cup unsweetened pomegranate juice (or favorite unsweetened pressed juice)
  • ¼ cup cold-pressed orange juice (optional)
  • 2 large oranges, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries (or berries)
  • 1 large apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


Step #1: Fill a large pitcher with chopped fruit and cinnamon sticks. 

Step #2: Add the remaining ingredients and stir well until mixed.

Step #3: Cover and place in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours, preferably overnight. 

Step #4: Garnish with fresh fruit, herbs, or a splash of kombucha.

Step #5: Serve and enjoy! 

Mocktail Modifications: To make it alcohol-free, replace the wine with your choice of unsweetened fruit juice (or a mixture of several) such as pomegranate, grape, cranberry, beet, or apple! 

#2 Dairy-Free Coconut Eggnog 

This creamy coconut eggnog is a lighter take on the classic dairy-filled beverage. It’s free from both eggs and dairy, naturally sweetened, and can easily be made into a healthy holiday mocktail! 


  • 1 cup creamy dairy-free milk (we recommend full fat cashew, almond, or oat milk)
  • ¾ cup full-fat canned coconut milk, unsweetened 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • ½ tsp of cinnamon 
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg 
  • ⅛ tsp ground cardamom 
  • Dash pink sea salt 

To serve:

  • ½ to 1 oz bourbon, dark rum, or brandy per 8 oz. serving (optional) 
  • Dairy-free coconut whip (optional) 


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients (aside from the alcohol and whipped topping) to a high-speed blender. Blend on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until creamy, smooth, and slightly frothy.

Step #2: Taste and adjust flavoring as needed, adding more spices or sweetener. 

Step #3: To serve hot, pour the mixture into a medium-sized saucepan and heat on medium heat until warm. Once warm, add in optional serving of alcohol and whipped topping. 

Step #4: To serve chilled, pour blended mixture into an airtight container and chill in the fridge until cold, 1-2 hours. Option to add in serving of alcohol. Serve with or without ice.  

Mocktail Modifications: To make it alcohol-free, simply serve without alcohol and enjoy hot or chilled

#3 Spicy Spiked Cider

If you’re looking to impress your holiday guests, look no further. Not only is this recipe free from sneaky sugars and insanely delicious, but it’s also the easiest way to make your entire kitchen (and house) smell like the holidays. Bring on the holiday cheer! After all, there’s nothing like a warm cup of (spiked or unspiked) seasonal cider to get you in the holiday spirit!  


  • 8 cups cold-pressed apple juice or fresh cider, unsweetened
  • 1 ½ cups spiced rum
  • 1 large navel orange, sliced into ¼-inch slices with peel
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks, whole
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tbsp (about 10-12) cloves, whole
  • 1 tbsp allspice berries, whole
  • 1 one-inch slice ginger root, fresh
  • Optional: 1-2 tsp sweetener of choice (such as maple syrup or monk fruit) 

Mocktail Modifications: To make an alcohol-free cider, replace the spiced rum with equal amounts of juice or cider prior to boiling. Alternatively, you can increase the flavor intensity of the spices by following the above recipe and leaving out the rum without adding an additional beverage.  


Step #1: In a large pot, add all of the above ingredients aside from the spiced rum. 

Step #2: Bring mixture to a slight boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover for 2-3 hours.

Step #3: Remove mixture from heat. 

Step #4: Add the optional spiced rum to the mixture and stir until well combined.

Step #5: Serve with a ladle, scooping the mixture into a glass with little to no fruit. 

Step #6: Garnish with cinnamon, fresh fruit, and any additional spices

Step #7: Enjoy!

#4 Gingerbread Martini

A new seasonal beverage has entered the chat: meet the PSL of the winter season! Whether you enjoy it with a boozy boost or skip the alcohol and warm it up for a cozy winter latte, we guarantee you’ll love this dairy-free Gingerbread Martini.


  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut, oat, or almond milk 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract 
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 oz. vodka

Mocktail modifications: To make an alcohol-free gingerbread beverage, follow the above recipe leaving out the vodka. Option to serve warm or over ice.


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients (aside from the vodka) to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth, creamy, and slightly frothy. 

Step #2: Once blended, pour the gingerbread mixture into a cocktail shaker with ice and optional vodka.

Step #3: Shake until well combined. 

Step #4: Pour mixture into a martini glass, and top with any additional garnishes such as cinnamon. 

#5 Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Yes, you read right. Red wine hot chocolate! We’ve taken two of the best ingredients (red wine and chocolate, of course) and combined them together into one delicious, antioxidant-rich, healthier holiday beverage.


  • 1/2 cup creamy non-dairy milk (cashew milk, almond milk, oat milk)
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp dutch cocoa or raw cacao, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp dairy-free chocolate chips (optional) 

Mocktail modifications: Follow the same recipe above but swap the red wine for an additional ½ cup of any creamy dairy-free beverage of choice! 


Step #1: Whisk all the above ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. 

Step #2: Add the optional dairy-free chocolate chips and constantly stir until chocolate is fully melted. 

Step #3: Total cook time should be no longer than 4 minutes. Avoid bringing the mixture to a simmer.

Step #4: Remove from heat and stir in red wine 

#6 Very Cranberry Christm-osa

If you’re sipping on this healthy cranberry Christmas mimosa, it will be a very merry holiday indeed! This healthier holiday cocktail is made with just three ingredients and can be turned into a tasty mocktail with ease.


  • 2 oz pomegranate juice, unsweetened
  • 2 oz cranberry juice, unsweetened
  • 4 ounces of champagne

Mocktail modifications: Follow the above recipe, swapping out the champagne for kombucha or seltzer! 


Step #1: Pour the above ingredients into a champagne glass. 

Step #2: Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and cranberries.

Step #3: Serve and enjoy!

#7 Rosemary Ginger Citrus Moscow Mule

This refreshing and flavorful healthy holiday drink is made with our favorite seasonal ingredients like blood orange and warming spices. Made with a light ginger beer (that can be subbed for kombucha or seltzer) and a handful of other ingredients, this cocktail is simple, tasty, and a healthier-for-you option! 


  • ½ cup ginger kombucha
  • ½ cup fresh blood orange citrus juice (sub any citrus)
  • 1 cup light ginger beer (sub kombucha or seltzer)
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp FitOn’s healthier simple syrup recipe (see below)
  • ½ -1 tsp grated ginger

To serve:

  • 2 oz vodka
  • Fresh sprig rosemary

Mocktail modifications: Follow the above recipe leaving out the optional vodka addition. 


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients, including optional vodka, to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well combined. 

Step #2: Pour mixture into a cocktail glass.

Step #3: Top with optional garnishes such as fresh citrus or rosemary. 

Step #4: Serve and enjoy!

#8 Mistletoe Margarita 

Traditionally mixed margaritas are a sugar bomb waiting to happen. Not this holiday season! Sip guilt-free with our mistletoe margarita. Sweetened all naturally with fresh fruit juice and a touch of our healthier homemade simple syrup, enjoy a cocktail or mocktail without all the added sugar. 


  • 2 oz cranberry juice, unsweetened
  • 1 large blood orange, juiced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 tsp sweetener of choice (agave, maple syrup, or FitOn’s healthier simple syrup)

To serve: 

  • Salt
  • Kombucha or seltzer
  • Fresh cranberry, lime slices, and rosemary for garnish

Mocktail modifications: To make an alcohol-free margarita, follow the above recipe replacing tequila with kombucha, seltzer, or cold-pressed juice.


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well combined. 

Step #2: Pour the mixture into a cocktail glass. Option to top with kombucha or seltzer and serve with a salt rim. 

Step #3: Top with optional garnishes such as cranberry, lime, and fresh sliced orange. 

Step #4: Serve and enjoy!

#9 Peppermintini 

This cozy cocktail is a must-have on our healthier holiday menu. It’s light yet creamy and perfectly sweet without being overly indulgent. Swap the almond milk for your favorite non-dairy milk of choice, and if you’re feeling fancy, amplify the flavor with an added shot of espresso!


  • 1 oz. vanilla or peppermint vodka
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ⅛  teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1-2 tsp FitOn’s healthier simple syrup, optional

Mocktail modifications: Following the same recipe as above, swap the vodka for an additional 1 oz of non-dairy milk of choice. Serve warm or chilled!


Step #1: Add all of the above ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well combined. 

Step #2: Once combined, pour the mixture into a cocktail glass. Option to serve with a candy cane or festive topping. 

Step #3: Enjoy!

#10 The Green Grinch

With a drink this healthy and delicious, it’s easy to see how the Grinch stole Christmas! This healthy green juice cocktail or mocktail will be all the talk at your holiday party. Add all of your favorite green veggies to your juicer just as you would for your morning juice, adding in at least one fruit such as green apple, pear, or pineapple for that perfect balance of sweetness.


  • 1 cup fresh green juice, homemade or store-bought (we love a fresh-pressed blend made with celery, spinach, cucumber, kale, lemon, ginger, and green apple)
  • 1-2 oz of tequila
  • ½ – 1 tsp agave or FitOn’s healthier simple syrup recipe  
  • 1 lime, juiced 

To serve:

  • Garnishes such as fresh mint, lime, or apple

Mocktail modifications: To make this beverage alcohol-free, follow the above recipe leaving out the tequila. Option to remove the sweetener and add additional lemon and ginger juice for a non-alcoholic kick. Serve over ice.


Step #1: For homemade juice, prepare the juice in a juicer or high-speed blender (using a nut milk bag to strain the pulp). 

Step #2: Add all of the above ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until well combined. 

Step #3: Pour mixture into a cocktail glass. Option to serve with a salt rim. 

Step #4: Top with optional garnishes such as mint, lime, or apple.

Bonus Recipe: 2-Ingredient Healthier Simple Syrup 

No need for processed sugar in your holiday cocktails or mocktails. Our healthier simple syrup recipe is the perfect way to add a touch of sweetness to your favorite holiday recipes while staying on track with your goals. Made with just two ingredients (water and honey), feel good sipping your way through the holidays. 

FitOn’s Healthier Holiday Honey Simple Syrup Recipe


  • 1 cup raw honey
  • 1 cup water


Step #1: In a small saucepan, combine the above ingredients. 

Step #2: Warm mixture over medium-low heat, continuously stirring until the honey dissolves.

Step #3: Once the mixture is smooth and fully combined, remove from heat and let the syrup cool. 

Step #4: Store the syrup in an airtight glass jar or bottle in the refrigerator. 

Enjoy Your Favorite Holiday Drinks, Guilt-Free

Whether you’re reaching for a healthier holiday cocktail or have your eyes set on a mocktail, there are so many delicious ways to enjoy yourself this holiday season. Use these healthier holiday cocktails to inspire your festive drink recipes and keep this holiday season merry and bright. Cheers!