Some things just feel right in December. Like watching Christmas movies, getting comfy on the couch with an ice chocolate (or a hot choccy for our international readers), and lots and lots of holiday food.
With everything the silly season brings - festivities, festivities and more festivities - it can often feel impossible to keep on top of your health and wellbeing. It’s oh-so common for this time of year to become a total ‘treat yo self’ free-for-all (followed by a new gym membership, self loathing and detox come Jan 1st).
But it doesn't have to be that way.
*Enter Conscious Cocktails*, the perfect way to cheers to balance this holiday season.
Conscious Cocktails are a cheeky celebration of health and wellness. What is the point of treating our bodies like a temple with all the green juice and veggies if we can't celebrate feeling so damn amazing. Conscious Cocktails are a way to enjoy your drink that your body will thank you for later. Take your classic sugar-laden cocktail, take out the nasties and add in some nutritional boosters, Voila! You have yourself a Conscious Cocktail.
Below are some of my go-to festive season Conscious Cocktails:
You can’t say holiday cocktail without thinking about Eggnog. But traditional eggnog is rich in calories, high in saturated fat and loaded with sugar. Below are two Conscious twists on this traditional holiday favourite, one with and one without egg for our vegans out there. Both recipes can be enjoyed warm or cool, depending on where you are spending the holidays.
Naughty or Nice
Rich, creamy and sleigh full of Christmas spirit. Santa’s favourite holiday drink with a nutty twist and perhaps an extra shot (or two). All the festive flavours you love, but with a nutritious boost. Yay for holiday cheer! The shape of walnuts are a little clue to their brain boosting benefits. The healthy omega-3 fats found in walnuts help to strengthen through processing and improving memory. They can even help to boost your mood.
3 dash bitters
30 mls cherry syrup *can sub for maple syrup or raw honey*
2 tsp walnut butter *can sub for pre bought mixed nut butter*
For this cocktail you can use any nut butter of choice, or make your own. I love mine with homemade walnut butter.
To make walnut butter:
15mls olive oil
1 tsp cinnamon
Place walnuts, olive oil, cinnamon, water and salt in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.
To make cherry syrup:
500g pitted cherries
1 tbsp raw honey
60mls fresh lemon juice
Pour all ingredients in a large pan. Simmer for 15 minutes with lid on. Pour into a fine sieve and use the back of a spoon to press the cherry solids through the sieve. Reduce to desired consistency and keep in the fridge.
To make cocktail:
Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (strong shake without ice) for at least 10 seconds to emulsify the egg. Add ice and shake again for 10 seconds. Strain into your favourite glass. Garnish with grated nutmeg and cinnamon. The perfect Christmas drink.
Hard Nog Life
This delicious combination of spices will warm you from the inside out and get your digestive system firing, reduce inflammation and boost immunity; aka exactly the TLC our bodies need at this time of year.
1 cup plain almond, coconut, oat or organic full fat milk.
1 cup canned coconut milk.
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup or raw honey
4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
Pinch of sea salt
Combine all ingredients (except rum) in a saucepan and place over low heat. Bring to a boil slowly and then slower to a simmer whilst continuing to whisk. Simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a heatproof jar to cool. Once cooled place in an airtight jar in the fridge to chill and set for at least 3 hours before serving. When you're ready to serve pour into two cups and top with rum and sprinkle with a little more of your spices. Enjoy!
The Perfect Pear
Vanilla and pear, name a more whimsical mix I dare you. Here they join forces with lemon juice and whisky for a cocktail that is anything but ordinary.
Pears are a beautifying fruit packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing flavonoids. For this recipe use whichever pear variety you prefer - or whatever you can still nab in season here in Australia (as we are nearing the end of pear season). I like to choose sweater pears so that the cocktail doesn't needed added sweetener. Puree your pear instead of juicing so that you can sneak in that extra fibre, especially considering this crispy fruit has around 5 grams of fibre per pear. Plus, the texture of pureed pear is beautifully gritty and smooth at the same time. You may notice dark flecks in your drink, that is just the vanilla bean seeds. The little flecks are incredibly aromatic and give this cocktail a deliciously deep layer of flavour.
1/2 cup fresh pear juice
30mls fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh vanilla seeds
1/2 tsp raw honey
1 tsp cinnamon
Place all ingredients except cinnamon in a cocktail shaker and shake until combined. Prepare glass by running a slice of lemon around the rim. Then rim the glass with cinnamon and fill with ice. Pour liquid over ice and garnish with a slice of fresh pear or vanilla bean.
A Bubbly Tip
If you're like us and live somewhere with a hot Christmas, here’s my favourite light and refreshing seasonal drink, and it couldn't be more simple.
Pour a glass of your favourite Prosecco, sparkling or champagne. I always like to choose a dry and organic bubbly as they have far less sugar and added nasties. Then add in one sprig of fresh rosemary.
Drinking fizzy drinks increases the speed that your body digests alcohol, often leading to people getting a little more buzzed than planned when on the bubbles. The gasses that make your drink fizzy force pressure on your digestive system making the alcohol absorb much faster. A simple trick to slow down the alcohol absorption of your sparkling is to add something to the glass. This provides a surface for the bubbles to attach to, therefore less bubbles get inside of you and the speed of absorption greatly slows down.
Rosemary is not only a star christmas herb for your delicious dinners, it also has incredible aromatherapy benefits too. The scent of rosemary has been linked to increased cognition, memory and alertness as well as a reduction of stress in the body. Things we can sometimes use a little more of during the festive evenings. If rosemary isn't your vibe, anything works!
Can’t go wrong with the classic strawberry.
If you want to get your hands on more Conscious Cocktail recipes I have created a special discount code for you! Use code 'ConsciousChristmas' for 20% off my book as well as the three piece gold cocktail shaker kit - the perfect Chrissy gift!