5 Festive Drinks to Avoid (and five to enjoy)

I'm in Vienna this weekend and last night I went with my friend to the opera to watch Madame Butterfly. After the performance finished we popped into a nearby bar and got chatting to a group of friends who were out celebrating one of the friend's birthday. They invited us to go on with them to a club nearby. Now I appreciate it's not very nutritionist like to admit I like clubbing, but I do. So we went. We ordered a bottle of vodka between us and when it arrived, much to my surprise, it didn't come with the usual Coke and Red Bull mixers. Instead they explained there was still or sparkling water to mix with fresh lime juice or low sugar peach iced tea! One of the girls told me that she was friends with the owner and upstairs, he had his own VIP area with a fresh juice bar. She swore by mixing the green veg juice with vodka to avoid hangovers! (I have tried a lot of healthy cocktail combinations but I can't say I have ever mixed vodka with green juice!)

Why am I telling you this? Well, because I am passionate about both having a good time and doing our best to stay healthy when we do. With Christmas party season upon us, the chances are many of us will be drinking more alcohol than usual in the next few weeks. But how can we make the best choices to minimise the effects on our health and appearance?
The bad news is that alcohol isn't great for our health. It causes inflammation, premature ageing and dehydration, while the sugar in many drinks is not good for countless reasons, but making the right choices can minimise it's negative impacts. The Sun recently asked me about the best and worst alcoholic drinks to choose. In particular, they were interested in the impact of alcoholic drinks on our skin health but factors that affect how good or bad a drink is for our skin also affect many other aspects of our health. 
Here are five of the worst drinks to opt for this party season:

  1. Baileys
    High in alcohol, this dairy-based liquer is high in sugar and contains refined vegetable oil.

  2. Eggnog
    Combine dairy, alcohol and sugar and you've got a complexion nightmare. However if you're making it at home you can try dairy and sugar alternatives and set your own levels.

  3. Spiced rum and coke
    Strong, sweet rum mixed with high-sugar cola is one of the worst options this season. Instead, choose a low-sugar alternative such as vodka and soda water with fresh lime juice.

  4. Mulled cider
    Adding extra alcohol and sugar into already-sweet cider is far from ideal. Even if it does smell delicious. Have a small mug to start the night then switch to something else.

  5. Mulled wine
    Slightly better than mulled cider, since the wine has four or five times less sugar. If you're making it at home, try my no added sugar mulled wine recipe.

So now you know what not to drink, check out my full article on The Sun to find out the best five Christmas drinks to enjoy. In moderation, of course!