Clink Clink Fizz, See Ya 2013

Well, it’s the last day of 2013. Did you manage to accomplish all the resolutions you set for yourself? Do you even remember what they were? I for one don’t. I’m sure I decided on a few, but this time last year began a real doozy in my work life, and I didn’t quite see my house in the daylight until March. Needless to say, sitting stationary and eating takeout at work for breakfast, lunch, and dinner squashed any health-related resolutions I may have made. Sitting at that same desk over weekends also raised a big middle finger to recreational activities such as visiting the beach regularly or exploring local hiking trails in our new town. Basically, my 2013 resolutions were a big ol’ bust. Whatever they were.

Fast forward a year, and now I have a job where I can A) see the daylight and B) exercise regularly, so I’ll take a stab and say that 2014 will be off to a better start than 2013. Especially with this lower-sugar, fizzy and festive cocktail.

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I’ll be honest – I’m not a big fan of sugary mixed drinks. Sticky sweet concoctions that make my teeth ache and turn my tongue (and lips, and teeth…) an unnatural color. I’d much prefer to order a beer at a bar, but at home I’m apt to toil away in the kitchen testing out lower-sugar drinks. As a bonus, they tend to be lower-calorie, too.

This one combines peach, strawberry, and raspberry, but feel free to mix up the flavors to match your preferences. Whatever the flavor of sparkling water, it, along with the lambic, creates a festive fizz that will look the part at your festivities (whether your definition of festivities is a large party or you and yours sitting on the couch watching Netflix). <– take a guess at what category I fall into 🙂

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If you’ve never had the framboise lambic, I’ll tell you that it’s delicious. Technically it’s a beer, but its deep-pink color and raspberry flavor would have you thinking otherwise. It’s wonderful to sip by itself or added as an element in other drinks. In this drink, it’s cut with the sparkling water to reduce the sugar, but it still does its job with the flavor and color it imparts.

Taste of framboise

Lindemans framboise lambic…mmmmm

Rasp-Strawberry Peach Fizz
Yields 2 drinks

3 oz peach-flavored vodka
6 oz strawberry-flavored sparkling water
6 oz Lindemans framboise lambic
4 ice cubes

1. Place two ice cubes in each glass (told you it was easy!).

2. Measure 1 1/2 oz of peach-flavored vodka and 3 oz of strawberry sparkling water into each glass and stir.

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3. Pour approximately 3 oz of the framboise lambic into each glass. Enjoy!

Drink

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Healthier Mexican Hot (Dark) Chocolate

Can we talk for a second about this hot chocolate?

Healthier Hot Chocolate

1. It’s DELICIOUS. Creamy dark chocolate, with just enough cinnamon to add a slight spice without overpowering. It’s hot chocolate for a reason (not hot cinnamon, although if that’s what you’re into…)

2. It’s FOR A CROWD. Once anyone in your vicinity gets a whiff of this deliciousness, guaranteed they’re going to want some. And you’re in luck because it’s so easy to make a big batch all at once – just double (or triple) the recipe.

3. It’s OH SO EASY. As in it may be on par with ripping open a packet of hot chocolate mix and whisking with hot water, although the taste of this recipe trumps just about every packet hot chocolate I’ve sipped.

4. It’s NOT SO BAD FOR YOU. 1 cup of the dark chocolate almond milk is 100 calories, and according to Silk, has 50% more calcium than chocolate dairy milk. Tastes indulgent, but your waistline will thank you.

5. It’s VERSATILE.

Dairy-free? Just omit the whipped cream topping (with a hot chocolate so rich and creamy, you’re not missing much!)

Looking to satisfy the masses? Kids will love it straight, and adults can add a little glug-glug of coffee liqueur for a festive cold-weather cocktail.

I took it upon myself to try it at every juncture – straight and with coffee liqueur. Yum and yum (double yum). I know what’ll be on my holiday menu. 🙂

Healthier Hot Chocolate
Yields 2 servings

3 cups dark chocolate almond milk (I used this one from Silk)
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Several shakes of ground cinnamon (or more, to taste)
Coffee liqueur (optional)
Whipped cream (optional)

1. Pour almond milk into small saucepan on stove top and heat slowly over low heat.

Stovetop
2. Whisk in cocoa powder and cinnamon until smooth.

Cinnamon
3. Hot chocolate is done when you just barely notice small bubbling around the edges of the saucepan and hot chocolate becomes frothy.

Frothy Cocoa
4. Ladle out hot chocolate into mugs. Add coffee liqueur if using. Garnish with whipped cream (again, if using – this is so customizable!) and a shake of cinnamon.

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