Holiday Spirits: How to keep cocktails healthy and delicious

What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with, well, holiday spirits?

Many imbibe their calorie-rich holiday cocktails without a worry, but for people watching their weight, or those with diabetes, it can be very challenging.

Enter Jennifer Ross, a Type-1 diabetic who cannot have the artificial ingredients and added sugars that come in many alcoholic drinks. Jennifer and her friend Cristina Ros Blankfein turned that problem into a solution in 2014, when they founded Be Mixed, a line of natural zero-calorie cocktail mixers.

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As Ross tells Fox News, “We always felt that we were compromising or giving something up when we were out celebrating, and thought that was really silly. Why should we have to? We want something that doesn’t have sugar, that doesn’t have calories, and that tastes great, and there was nothing else out there. So we said, ‘Let’s do it ourselves!’”

The founders explain that they use a blend of natural sweeteners, “with a less than 1 glycemic index so a Type 1 Diabetic I can now partake in the celebrations.”

Be Mixed cocktail mixers are even used at Catch, one of New York City's most well-known establishments. Beverage director Lucas Robinson explains that the mixers are quite popular with customers, especially in today's health and wellness zeitgeist.

"With all the emphasis on health and weight loss these days, many of the customers at Catch are highly appreciative of low-sugar and [low] calorie — especially when it comes to beverages," Robinson tells Fox News. "In just the last few years, I have definitely seen a surge in demand for sugar-free alternatives, and I can only imagine that this will become more rampant in years to come."

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Sometimes what’s kept behind the counter remains unused behind the counter. That’s not the case for bartender and author John deBary, who uses Be Mixed at home.

“When you’re hosting a cocktail party at home, anything you can do to make your life easier is a godsend," said deBary. "Look for ingredients, like those in Be Mixed’s Cucumber Lime, that serve double duty — that provide both acidity and sweetness, or that contain multiple flavors, so you’re not stuck in the kitchen juicing for hours, or hassling with a DIY infused simple syrups.”

Be Mixed co-founder Cristina Ros Blankfein, who is currently pregnant, adds that her company’s mixers can be used to make mocktails for expecting or abstaining guests. Below, she and co-founder Ross have even shared the mocktail and cocktail versions of their Skinny B and a Berry Merry Spicy Margarita cocktails, in order to help you accommodate all of your guests at holiday parties.

Catch’s Skinny B

Ingredients:

  • 3 cucumber slices
  • Small handful of mint
  • 3 oz. Be Mixed Cucumber Mint
  • 0.75 oz. lemon juice
  • Soda Water
  • 1.5 oz. vodka, tequila or gin (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Muddle cucumber and mint.
  2. Transfer cucumber and mint to a shaker. Add in Be Mixed and lemon juice.
  3. Add ice. Shake.
  4. Pour into glass and top with soda water.
  5. Spike it! We recommend 1.5 oz of liquor — vodka, gin or tequila (optional).

Berry Merry Spicy Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 2 strawberries
  • 4 blackberries
  • 4 raspberries
  • Jalapeno slice(s)
  • 4 oz. Be Mixed Margarita
  • Soda Water
  • 1.5 oz. tequila

Instructions:

  1. Muddle strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and jalapeno slice(s).
  2. Transfer to a shaker. Add Be Mixed and fill with ice.
  3. Shake. Pour over ice.
  4. Top with soda water
  5. Spike it! For the alcoholic version, add 1.5 oz. tequila to cocktail shaker along with Be Mixed and ice.