If you're looking to achieve a wellness goal, it may seem that alcohol is completely off limits. And although limiting your alcohol intake to a few glasses per week can certainly help your body tap into fat burning mechanisms, it doesn't mean you can't prep a healthy-ish, low-sugar cocktail on the occasion.
Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite fall cocktails that also doesn't hinder weight loss goals ~ let me introduce you to the Healthy-ish Mulled Wine Cocktail.
What Makes Mulled Wine Healthy(-ish)?
Mulled wine uses dry red wine as the base. If you're using a high quality dry farmed wine, then it's also going to be free of residual or added sugars. And as we know, sugar sweetened drinks are one of the leading causes of obesity in America.(1) This is due to the fact that sugar sweetened drinks will greatly spike your blood glucose and insulin (the fat storing hormone) levels.
Wine comes from grapefruit juice, which is a very high sugar drink. Just one cup of unsweetened grapefruit juice contains around 22g of sugar. However, as the grapefruit juice ferments and converts into wine, these sugars disappear. Traditional dry farm wine practices allow this fermentation to complete, meaning that no sugars are left behind. However, many newer wine practices stop the fermentation to allow for sugars to be left behind (called residual sugars). Not to mention, many wines will also add sugar back into the product to make it taste sweeter, which significantly drives up the sugar content of the drink making it even worse for your weight loss goals.
There are a few services that specifically seek out dry farm wine that are very low in sugar. One common one is Dry Farm Wines. You can also generally be safe when choosing a red wine from Italy, which is more likely to follow the traditional full fermentation practice.
That's why my Healthy-ish Mulled Wine Cocktail recipe below uses a dry farm wine and does not add sugars back in. All with the goal of keeping the cocktail more in line with your wellness goals!
Healthy-ish Mulled Wine Cocktail
1 bottle Dry Farm (or Italian) Wine
1 orange, sliced
8 cloves, whole
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
Optional Prosecco or sparkling wine (to top)
In a pot over medium-high heat, add wine, orange, cloves, cinnamon sticks and star anise. Just before this reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and cover for 15 minutes.
Remove the mulled wine from heat and allow to cool. You can either have the mulled wine warm and served in a heat proof mug (perfect for a cozy night in) OR you can chill this mulled wine mixture and serve topped with Prosecco for a fun, cocktail version of mulled wine! Simply serve over ice and top with a splash of Prosecco.
Autumn Elle Nutrition