Family gatherings are best enjoyed with a delicious alcoholic beverage that both warms you up during those chilly holiday months and helps you tolerate that particularly irritating aunt or uncle.
When it comes to hot cocktails, you're usually looking at not-so-healthy amounts of fat and/or sugar. We're not going to pretend you're the Mother Teresa of dieting. It's the holidays; we all deserve a little indulgence. Just remember to keep it in moderation. These drinks aren't insanely high in fat, but many of them do, unfortunately, have significant amounts of sugar. Keep it in perspective, and remember to factor in that slice of pecan pie if you're also planning on sipping on a glass of mulled wine.
Hot buttered rum
As you probably guessed from the name, hot buttered rum isn't the kind of drink you'll find in a diet book - but there are ways to tweak the traditional recipe for a concoction surprisingly low in fat and sugar. Williams-Sonoma did just that with this recipe, which cuts back on the heaps of butter and brown sugar found in most hot buttered rum recipes. Break out the mugs, nutmeg and cinnamon sticks and get in the holiday spirit!
Hot juju ginger apple cider
It sounds weird, but it turns out Jujubes are great for spiking apple cider. Let the kids have some of the candy and use the rest for the adults! This recipe from Food Republic makes Jujube syrup with Jujubes and simple syrup, and then combines it with apple cider, King's Ginger Liqueur (infused with mandarin peels), black tea, crab apples, dried mandarins, allspice and a cinnamon stick. While low in fat, this recipe does not spare any sugar, so consider it dessert!
Oprah's Cupid's Kiss cocktail
Like Tokyo Terrace's Peppermint Schnapps hot chocolate (see recipe below), this Oprah recipe puts an adult twist on the chocolaty drink, combining it with Irish cream liqueur, dark crème de cocoa, amaretto, whipped cream and a Hershey's kiss. Make sure to use low-fat milk!
Silk Irish coffee
We wouldn't call it "low in sugar," but this Dr. Oz recipe for Silk Irish coffee contains less of the sweet stuff than many of today's popular hot cocktails. "Silk" in the name comes from the recipe's use of the Silk brand of soymilk, and it's mixed with steaming coffee, Irish whiskey, a touch of dark brown sugar and some whipped cream. At least we have one reason to appreciate winter.
Photo: catfordCelt on Flickr
We imagine James Bond would sip on one of these during the colder months. Simple to make and low in both fat and sugar, this espresso martini recipefrom Food Republic uses only three ingredients: Belvedere vodka, coffee liqueur and Woolloomooloo espresso - though we're sure any espresso would do. Move aside, olives; coffee beans are the martini's new best friend.
Photo: Anna Williams; Styling: Deborah Williams
Don't mourn the loss of summer's Sangria. Fall has its own yummy wine punch: mulled wine. This particular recipe, from Real Simple, uses a navel orange, apple juice, honey and berries for sweetness and spices it up with fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks. If this doesn't make you fall in love with fall, nothing will.