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3 Festive Low-Carb Holiday Cocktails

Updated: 12/14/23 3:12 pmPublished: 12/22/22 3:12 pm
By Ariana Frayer

Low-Carb Holiday Bourbon Cocktail RecipeAriana Frayer, a graphic designer and content creator who has lived with type 1 diabetes for 17 years, shares three festive, blood sugar-friendly cocktails to enjoy this holiday season.

If you’re still trying to get in the holiday spirit, there’s nothing better than a seasonally appropriate cocktail to sip on this time of year. I’ve created three cocktails that feature nostalgic childhood flavors and garnishes meant to wow but also utilize lower-carb ingredients. Enjoy these all season long – with little insulin required!

Recipe Details: Cozy Maple Orange Bourbon

From Ariana Frayer

Makes 1 drink

Recipe Note

To make dehydrated orange slices, very thinly slice oranges, then place them on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place them in the oven 200°F for 2-4 hours, flipping every 30 minutes to make sure the orange slices don't burn. As a bonus, it will make your home smell lovely.

To make this drink non-alcoholic, replace the bourbon with additional sparkling water.


  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • Juice of 1/2 an orange

  • 1/2 ounce sugar-free brown sugar cinnamon syrup, such as Torani

  • 1/2 ounce zero sugar maple flavored syrup, such as Lakanto

  • Dash of orange bitters

  • Sparkling water

  • Sprig of rosemary

  • 1-2 cinnamon sticks

  • Dehydrated orange slice, optional, for garnish (see recipe note)


  1. In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine bourbon, orange juice, cinnamon and maple flavored syrups, and bitters. Shake until cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass. Top with sparkling water to taste.

  2. Garnish with rosemary, cinnamon, and a dehydrated orange slice, if desired.

Recipe Details: Lower-Carb Cranberry Mimosas

From Ariana Frayer

Makes: 2 drinksLow Carb Holiday Cranberry Mimosa Cocktail Recipe

Recipe Note

I used a 1:1 ratio of prosecco to the cranberry juice, but feel free to use more or less depending on what you’re looking for in a cocktail. To make this drink non-alcoholic, replace the sparkling wine with the same amount of sparkling water.


  • Freshly squeezed orange juice, for the sugared rim

  • Stevia, for the rim

  • Fresh cranberries, for garnish

  • 4 ounces low sugar or low calorie cranberry juice, such as Ocean Spray Diet Cranberry Juice

  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 4 ounces sparkling wine


  1. Working with one glass at a time, wet the rim of a Champagne coupe or flute with orange juice, then dip in stevia to create an even sugared rim on each glass. Place 3-4 cranberries in each glass. Set glasses aside.

  2. Dip rosemary sprigs in any remaining orange juice and roll into stevia. Set aside.

  3. Combine the cranberry juice and 2 ounces of orange juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until cold, about 15 seconds. Strain evenly into the two glasses, being careful to avoid the sugared rim. Top each glass with 2 ounces sparkling wine.

  4. Garnish each glass with a sugared sprig of rosemary.

Recipe Details: Santa’s Holiday Nog

From Ariana Frayer

Low-Carb Holiday Eggless Egg Nog Cocktail RecipeMakes: 1 drink

Recipe Note

Almond-based nog often contains fewer carbohydrates than its egg-toting counterpart. For instance, Trader Joe’s Almond Nog contains 9 grams of carbohydrates compared to its egg-based version, which packs around 17 grams of carbs for the same amount.

To make this drink non-alcoholic, replace the Kahlúa and vodka with 2-1/2 ounces of cooled coffee.


  • Lemon wedge, for the sugared rim

  • 1 mini candy cane, crushed, for the rim

  • 1-1/2 ounces vodka

  • 1 ounce Kahlúa coffee liqueur

  • 1/4 cup of almond nog, such as Trader Joe’s

  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk

  • 1 mini candy cane, for the garnish


  1. Take a lemon slice and line the top of an old-fashioned glass with lemon juice, then dip in crushed candy cane to create an even candy cane rim on the glass. Set glass aside.

  2. In a cocktail shaker with ice, add all remaining liquid ingredients and shake well. Strain into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass, being careful to avoid the glass rim. Garnish with the mini candy cane.

Photo credits: Ariana Frayer

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About the authors

Ariana Frayer is the founder of Cup of Oj , a colorful brand offering a healthy, relatable, and humorous space for others living with diabetes. From informational blog posts about... Read the full bio »