Come Thanksgiving you’ll be looking to cut calories wherever you can. But you don’t want to cut the holiday fun. Here are five low-cal cocktails that complement turkey, stuffing, and sides.

1. Spiced Apple Martini

This is a delicious, low-calorie fall twist to a traditional cocktail.


  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce apple spiced simple syrup
  • 3 dashes angostura bitters
  • Ice

Apple spiced simple syrup

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 apple slice
  • 1/2 half cup of water


Apple spiced simple syrup

  • Combine syrup ingredients in a small saucepan
  • Bring to a boil
  • Strain into a container


  • Place all ingredients in a shaker with some ice
  • Shake
  • Strain through shaker into a glass

2. Pomegranate Cranberry Moscow Mule

This cocktail is the perfect Thanksgiving drink because it combines cranberries and ginger.


  • 1.5 ounces pomegranate flavored vodka
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • 1/2 cup low-sugar cranberry pomegranate juice
  • 6 ounces ginger beer
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds


  • Fill a mug with crushed ice
  • Squeeze half a lime into the mug
  • Pour in the pomegranate flavored vodka
  • Add in the juice, then stir
  • Pour in the ginger beer
  • Top with fresh pomegranate seeds

3. Holiday Old Fashioned

This drink takes a holiday twist on the classic Old Fashioned with the addition of cinnamon syrup and orange bitters.


  • 2 ounces chilled Bourbon
  • .25 ounces cinnamon syrup
  • 3 dashes orange bitters
  • Dehydrated orange wheels


  • Measure and add all ingredients to a mixing beaker
  • Fill mixing beaker 2/3 full with crushed ice
  • Using a teaspoon, stir for half a minute
  • Strain contents into a glass
  • Add ice and garnish with a dehydrated orange wheel

4. Apple Cobbler

Who needs dessert when you can have a light, refreshing cocktail that tastes like one?


  • 2 ounces Disaronno liqueur
  • 1 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Peychauds bitters


  • Place ingredients in shaker
  • Shake well with ice
  • Strain into cocktail glass

5. Spiced Hot Cider

This spiced hot cider is the quintessential autumn drink. It contains cinnamon, apple, and clove flavors. Served hot, it will keep you warm all Thanksgiving day.


  • 4 cups apple cider
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup apple brandy
  • 3 tablespoons cinnamon schnapps


  • Place apple cider, cinnamon stick, and whole cloves into a saucepan
  • Bring mixture to a boil
  • Reduce heat
  • Simmer for several minutes
  • Add apple brandy and cinnamon schnapps
  • Serve hot
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick

Other tips for making your Thanksgiving healthy

Along with your light cocktails you can make light versions of traditional Thanksgiving dishes. All that you need to do is:

  • Baste your turkey in fat-free chicken broth
  • Substitute apple sauce for oil in baked goods
  • Use stevia, an all-natural zero calorie sweetener, in place of sugar
  • Use fat-free sour cream or plain yogurt in place of butter or cream in dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles
  • Skim the fat before making gravy
  • Serve salad as the first course
  • Sweeten candied yams with apple juice instead of marshmallows
  • Choose lean cuts from the turkey and avoid dark meat, which is higher in fat
  • Steer clear of canned vegetables, which are high in sodium, and opt instead for fresh ones
  • Cook stuffing separately from the turkey
  • Use plain yogurt in place of sour cream in your green bean casserole


  1. "7 Low-Calorie Holiday Cocktails," Self, November 18, 2016.
  2. "11 Skinny Holiday Cocktails," Women's Health, November 15, 2013.
  3. "20 Low-Calorie Holiday Cocktail Recipes," Shape, December 2, 2015.
  4. "'Tis the Season For Toasting: 10 Low-Cal Holiday Cocktails," POPSUGAR, December 23, 2016.

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