Diet Busters: 10 High-Calorie Holiday Drinks
Watch out for these diet-destroying beverages this holiday season.
By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
Reviewed By Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD/LD
Holiday celebrations can translate into lots of extra calories from drinks you don't normally consume, including the obligatory eggnog as well as other alcoholic and non-alcoholic favorites. And of course, there's the array of festive holiday concoctions found at coffee chains across America, including peppermint mochas and pumpkin spice lattes.
The most popular holiday drink at Starbucks is a perfect example. According to Alisa Martinez, communications manager for Starbucks Coffee Co., the No. 1 holiday drink at Starbucks in November and December is the peppermint mocha. A regular 16-ounce serving with all the trimmings comes to 470 calories and 22 grams of fat (including 13 grams of saturated fat). But the news isn't all bad for Starbucks fans: Make it a 12-ounce peppermint mocha and order it with nonfat milk and no whipped cream, and you're down to 220 calories and 2 grams of fat (none of which are saturated).
The peppermint mocha is by no means the only contender for the high-calorie holiday drink title. There are several other holiday drinks that are so high in calories and/or fat, they should either be avoided or considered your big dessert for the day. Some are actually higher in calories and fat than premium ice cream!
Here are 10 of the highest-calorie drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, that you're likely to come across this holiday season.
1. Peppermint Mocha (coffeehouse), made with whole milk and whipped cream
2. Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino (coffeehouse), made with pumpkin spice flavors, milk, ice, and whipped cream.
3. Hot Buttered Rum, made with butter, brown sugar, spices, whipped cream, and rum.
4. Pumpkin Spice Latte (coffeehouse), made with pumpkin spice flavors, espresso, steamed milk, and whipped cream.
5. Margarita, made with limeade, tequila, triple sec, and ice.
6. White Russian, made with vodka, coffee liqueur, and 1 1/2 ounces liquid light whipping cream.
7. Eggnog (regular store-bought, not including any added liquor)
8. Hot Chocolate (coffeehouse), made with steamed milk, mocha syrup, vanilla syrup, and whipped cream)
9. Mud Slide, made with vodka, Kahlua, Bailey's Irish cream, and half-and-half.
10. Brandy Alexander, made with brandy, dark creme de cacao, and half-and-half.
A Few More Favorite Holiday Drinks
Champagne is the classic toast at many holiday parties, and martinis are another popular standby. But Matt Raftree, beverage and bakery operations manager for Cheesecake Factory Inc., says the Mojito is, across the board, their top bar beverage.
While these aren't the highest-calorie drinks around, it's still essential to watch your portions. One drink won't break the 200-calorie mark, but two or three will put you quickly in the 360- to 540-calorie range.