10 Festive Cocktails Guaranteed To Make Your Christmas Merry And Bright

10 Festive Cocktails Guaranteed To Make Your Christmas Merry And Bright

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, everything was lit, from the tree to your spouse.

Ah, Christmas...

Except for the cold, it is my favorite time of year. During the holidays, so many cool events take place, people have lifted spirits, and the air just seems a little lighter.

But do you know what else lifts spirits and makes the air lighter? Alcohol!

Check out these ten fabulous cocktails assured to knock your stockings off! (See what I did there?)

1. Apple Cinnamon Cranberry Mimosas

Mimosas aren't just for brunch, y'all.

2. Apple Cider Moscow Mules

Time to break out the copper mugs!

3. Cranberry Orange Margaritas

Feliz Navidad!

4. Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria

We tried this recipe last year. It was delicious!

5. Rudolph's Tipsy Spritzer

No reindeer games with this one.

6. Salted Caramel White Russian

As sweet and salty as retail workers on Christmas Eve.

7. RumChata Egg Nog Cocktail

As surprisingly tasty as your head sewn to the carpet.

8. Red Wine Hot Chocolate

I love wine. Wine is my favorite.

9. Poinsettia Punch

As boozy as it is beautiful.

10. Silent Night Martini

Even Santa can't keep quiet after a few of these!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays! Enjoy!

Cover Image Credit: Tee Public

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5 Easy Ways For Healthy Girls To Thrive At Starbucks

Here's how to be healthy without being boring.

For your average college student, the desire to be healthy while not consuming your calories and sugar intake is a very challenging balancing act. Being a college student means that you rely completely on the university for food, are restricted to either making everything yourself, or you find a happy medium. It’s not always easy to go back to your dorm or apartment to make a healthy snack, so we have to rely on the restaurants and cafes that are readily available to us on campus.

Starbucks has a couple locations around my campus and is always bustling with students stopping between classes for a midday latte or refresher. It is the place to be, the place to go, and it is not impossible to be healthy while enjoying these drinks! As a barista at Starbucks, I have seen the ins and outs of how customers make their drinks. There is the default way that baristas will make your drink, but we can also customize it to you and your needs.

I am and will always be a cheerleader for Starbucks. I believe wholeheartedly in the values of being welcoming, being present, and challenging the status quo that Starbucks employees embody. I also believe wholeheartedly in the products we offer to our valued customers.

That being said, our society is becoming increasingly aware of how to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle, and the food and drink that we put into our bodies are important factors to this equation. What I am trying to do here is not by any means deter someone away from Starbucks. Wherever you go, no matter which café you choose to eat and drink at, the food and drinks are high in sugar to make its customers come back for more.

Starbucks, though, offers easy ways for its customers to increase the health benefits of your favorite drink. So the next time you are in line, approach the register, and are about to tell the barista what you are having today, keep these five simple tips in the back of your head to get your Starbucks fix without setting your fitness goals back.

1. Milk

One insanely easy way to cut down half the amount of sugar in your Starbucks drink is to simply substitute the default 2% milk for almond milk. Among it’s many other health benefits, paying a little extra for the almond milk substitute will cut down half the amount of sugar in your drink. This saves you an extra trip to the gym and will help you with your weight loss goals without having to completely cut out Starbs from your diet.

Soymilk is the next best substitute. It is sweetened with vanilla, so there is more sugar in this drink than one with almond milk. But, it is still a very healthy alternative compared to using any dairy-based milk.

2. Syrup

This one is a little more challenging, but not impossible. One easy way to cut down on the amount of sugar from the syrup flavoring alone is to ask your barista for half the pumps of syrup flavoring that the drink would normally get. I have personally tried this method, and I honestly can barely taste the difference! After sipping on my drink, my stomach and my mind feel so much better knowing that I just treated myself without wrecking myself.

Another good way to cut down on the amount of sugar from syrup-flavored drinks is to ask for Sugar-Free Vanilla instead of regular vanilla. Vanilla is by far the most popular syrup since it is used by default in many espresso and coffee drinks. Asking for this alternative will change your Grande vanilla iced coffee with milk from having over 20 grams of sugar to only about 3 grams, and asking for a Grande Skinny Caramel Macchiato will go from a whopping 32 grams of sugar to 18 grams of sugar.

3. Size Matters

If you are getting a hot espresso drink, go for a tall or a Grande. A tall has one shot of espresso, and a Grande AND a venti both have 2 espresso shots. Unless you are going to pay extra to add in another shot of espresso, avoid the venti, just treat yourself to a Grande, and call it a day because the extra milk and syrup make a difference.

4. Avoid the sauces

It’s fairly simple to make a Café Mocha healthier, but not so much a Café White Mocha. A Grande Mocha contains 34 grams of sugar, and a Grande White Mocha contains 58 grams of sugar. That is equivalent to eating a slice of Portillo’s Chocolate Cake AND a Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie from Starbucks. If this doesn’t phase you, then totally go for it! You deserve to drink what you want. For me, there are definitely days when I’ve been studying my butt off and want to treat myself, and I won’t even think twice about buying a Café Mocha as a pick-me-up drink. Now, you can ask for a Skinny Mocha which only contains 15 grams of sugar for a Grande. You still have the same delicious mocha taste with half the amount of sugar!

5. Want caffeine but not the sugar? Try the Shaken Iced Teas!

The black, green, and white teas at Starbucks do in fact contain caffeine. These are also very refreshing and now that spring has sprung, this is a great way to get your caffeine but also keep you refreshed! These are also cheaper than the espresso drinks which will make your wallet happy.

If the teas are too bitter for you, though, feel free to sweeten them with either a splash of lemonade or some syrup. A Shaken Iced Tea with sweetener contains about 11 grams of sugar, which is much less than the hot espresso drinks.

Cover Image Credit: Tirachard Kumtanom

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Thank You, Coffee.

Six things I love about coffee.

Coffee is the best thing about life, so I felt it was necessary to show my love for coffee, and that coffee for helping me get through all the tough times. I know a lot of people can thank just one cup of joe for helping them wake up for that early-as-fuck class or to stay up one more hour to study for that big tests you weren’t prepared for. So, here’s to you, coffee! Thanks for helping college students everywhere make it through the day.

1. Coffee is good any time of day.

Coffee is often thought of as a morning beverage, but it can really be made to fit any time of the day. You can have a coffee to wake up in the morning, refresh in the middle of the day, or to enjoy as a dessert. There are frozen coffee drinks, coffee topped off with whipped cream, and even coffee flavored ice cream and, the best, tiramisu!

2. There are so many varieties.

Hot, iced, cold brew, latte (hot or iced), cappuccino, macchiato (again, hot or iced), americano, Frappuccino, and on and on and on! Not to mention the various roasts – blonde to dark. So much to choose from.

3. Just plain coffee doesn’t really have any calories in it.

A plain, black coffee has about two calories. Just two calories! Adding dairy products and sugar and flavoring is what hikes up the calories. But, if you’re just talking about the coffee itself, just one cup is harmless.

4. Caffeine has been proven to be very beneficial!

Coffee lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke, reduces the chance of getting type 2 diabetes, protects the brain against Alzheimer's disease, promotes regular digestions (which is why it makes you poop!), prevents headache, and, best of all, help burn fat! Coffee also promotes a better, more motivated work out, and helps you keep burning calories if consumed after a work out!

5. Coffee goes with so many delicious goodies.

Bagels, donuts, danish, muffins, ect. The list goes on and on!

6. Most importantly, coffee is your friend.

Coffee wakes you up in the morning, keeps you warm when it’s cold, gives you that extra kick you need to take on the day, and tastes delicious! Coffee is good. Coffee is kind. Coffee will never hurt you. Coffee will never leave you.

Coffee is all you need.

Cover Image Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/coffee-cafe-mug-decorative-drink-983955/

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