Wine glasses with wine

A Happier Happy Hour

Relaxing with good company and a cocktail or a mocktail (a cocktail without alcohol) is part of life balance for many people. With a little planning and nutrition know-how, you can keep your wellness goals on track and have a happier happy hour.

Be mindful of the extra calories:

  • Alcohol is a big source of empty calories (i.e., few nutrients for the calories).
  • Watch your mixers! Go for seltzer, diet sodas, or lower sugar tonics instead of juices, regular soft drinks, or regular tonics for a lower-calorie cocktail.
  • Opt for Prosecco or champagne when looking for a lower-calorie option.
  • Check out the many newer lower-calorie options in your liquor aisle. Lower- calorie beer, wine, and ready-to-drink cocktails are available.
  • Sip water in between alcoholic drinks to hydrate and limit calories.

Try a lower-calorie mocktail:

  • Add fresh fruit to your favorite seltzer. Serve in a festive glass.
  • Muddle a slice of lemon or lime with a teaspoon of honey. Mix with ½ cup of coconut water and ½ cup seltzer and serve over ice and garnish with more fruit.
  • Look for some fun new recipes to jump-start your festivities.
  • Try a non-alcoholic beer or wine.

      Practice moderation and be safe:

      • For optimal health the evidence-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest:
      • No more than:
        • 2 drinks/day for men
        • 1 drink/day for women
      • 1 drink =
        • 12 oz. beer
        • 1.5 oz. 80 proof spirits (or 1 oz. 100 proof)
        • 5 oz. wine
      • Always drink responsibly, which includes having a designated driver or an arranged ride.


      A healthy dietary pattern is all about making better choices (quantity and quality), which can also include alcohol. Mindful choices will help you in your wellness journey.