Special beverages are consumed by many people during the holiday season. Should you sacrifice your diet and blood glucose control at this time of year because of those delicious holiday drinks? The answer should be no! Many people with diabetes often choose to drink beverages with zero or just a few calories.  These drinks include water, tea and coffee with sugar substitute added, diet soda or very low calorie powdered mixes. Others wish to enjoy a serving of a delightful holiday beverage.  

This blog will feature three brand new DiabetesCare.net recipes for drinks that are common around the holidays. Three additional holiday recipes are linked to our website recipe section. All recipes in this blog are not only “thrifty” in calories, but totally delicious. These recipes will help you enjoy the holidays without the guilt of excessive carbohydrates and/or calories from your beverages. 

“Mock Eggnog”

mock eggnog for diabeticsSome eggnog recipes contain as much as 343 calories per cup. The serving size for “Mock Eggnog” is 7 ounces with 90 calories per serving. It has 16 grams of carbohydrate and 0 grams of fat! It is also delicious. The recipe is called “Mock eggnog” because traditional eggnog contains eggs which this recipe does not have.

Makes 5 (approximately 7 oz servings)

mock eggnog nutrition label


1 package (28 grams) of sugar-free, fat-free vanilla instant pudding mix
4 cups cold skim milk
1 small packet of your favorite sugar substitute (stevia used in the analysis)
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg + extra to sprinkle on top of each beverage
1 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 oz water
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cinnamon sticks

In a large mixing bowl blend instant pudding mix, milk, ground cinnamon and nutmeg with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for 1-2 minutes. Add in cornstarch dissolved in water to mixture and mix thoroughly. Add in the extracts and stir.  Refrigerate mixture for 10 minutes before serving.  If mixture is too thick, add 1 tablespoon extra skim milk at a time and stir. Pour into pretty serving glasses. Sprinkle with nutmeg and add a cinnamon stick to stir. This recipe is really yummy!  

Diabetes exchanges:
Carbohydrate: 1/2
Skim milk: ½
This recipe is high in calcium

Holiday Punch

holiday punch for diabeticsFamily gatherings around the holidays are very special. Serving a tasty, low calorie punch in a large serving bowl is inviting to guests. This recipe is great for those trying to save their carbohydrate and calorie allowance for dinner.
Makes approximately 20 (one cup) servings of punch over ice, each serving is 30 calories. 


6 cups low calorie cranberry juice cocktail
4 cups light orange juice beverage
2 liter bottle chilled sugar-free ginger ale
1 cup juice packed pineapple chunks (drained)
1 cup frozen whole strawberries (cut in half)
Ice (crushed or cubed)

In a large punch bowl mix together cranberry juice cocktail and orange juice. Right before serving add the ginger ale. Float the fruit on top of the punch. Serve with a ladle into ice filled glasses.

Diabetes exchanges:
Carbohydrate: ½
This recipe is high in vitamin C

Wine Spritzer

wine spritzer for diabeticsWhen drinking alcohol, people with diabetes need to be careful. Alcohol can cause hypoglycemia for up to 24 hours after consumption. If you drink alcohol it is recommended to test your blood glucose both before drinking and after.   Alcohol should be consumed with a meal or snack that contains carbohydrates, but should not replace carbohydrates in your meal plan. Check your blood glucose periodically after drinking.  It is usually recommended that women drink no more than one drink per day and men not more than two. Twelve ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine or 1 ½ ounce of distilled spirits is equal to one drink.  Ask your physician if these recommendations are right for you. (1) 

A low calorie wine Spritzer is made with wine, ice and diet lemon-lime soda or club soda.

Most red and white wines have approximately 25 calories per ounce.  White wines that are late harvest have about 32 calories per ounce.  Calories in your spritzer will of course, depend on the amount of alcohol you use in your beverage. 

Other beverage recipes from Diabetescare.net to enjoy during the holiday season:

  1. Caribbean Milk Cooler
  2. Blushing Hot Spiced Cider
  3. Coffee latte

We at DiabetesCare.net wish you a happy, healthy holiday season. We hope you take the time to fit our recipes into your meal plan and that you find them delicious!