New Year, new you right? Reinventing yourself or resetting your habits are a hugely popular idea in the time between December 31st and January 1st. Gym memberships sign ups sky rocket, budgets are revamped and new restrictions on toxic habits are laid out in stone. One of the biggest parts of these resolutions is a focus on health. Diet and exercise are the first things people vow to fix in the first few weeks of the New Year. What would you say if I told you there is a new category of vodka out there that can help you stay on track?

Holistic vodkas are here to help keep your calorie counts in check. Full disclosure here, I am not a nutritionist or a diet coach. I can tell you about these vodkas that have a lower calorie count and have more intentional ingredients to focus on a healthier lifestyle. All alcohol is empty calories just like a cookie or a plate of French fries. You can’t cheat a diet with a certain type of alcohol but if you are counting calories, you can shave a few off. Another big positive with these is that they are focused on ingredients. Just like we shine a spotlight on what is in our food, these folks are doing the same with what they are using to make their vodkas.

Ketel One, arguable one of the largest family producers of vodka in the world, launched the Ketel One Botanical series last year. It has reinvigorated the category. What’s special about them? First and foremost, this isn’t just another flavored vodka. These vodkas have no sugar added, no artificial flavors added, no GMO grains are used in production of these three very different vodkas AND a serving is 0 carbs. They also are lower in alcohol (70 proof as opposed to the industry standard of 80 proof) which helps keep the people counting calories happy. The flavors are: Cucumber & Mint, Peach & Orange Blossom, and Grapefruit & Rose. I have found these to be very versatile in making fun cocktails. Ketel One Botanicals has made a big push with these and just soda water or sparkling water. They are flavorful, aromatic, and taste great. Try them with your favorite flavored sparkling waters or experiment with fresh juices. 

Absolut Vodka is the most popular vodka in the world and few months ago they released a new set of vodkas focused on big flavors, natural ingredients, and lower calories. Absolut Juice Apple and Strawberry hit the retail shelves and have shook up the vodka category. The vodkas look amazing on the shelves and back bars. The strawberry has a red tint and the apple has a green tint. That color comes from 5% natural fruit juices. These are also low-calorie vodkas that can easily be enjoyed with soda as a spritz with fresh fruit in them. If you want to be more adventurous try using the Absolut Juice Strawberry in a Cosmopolitan or the Absolut Juice Apple in an Appletini.

It only seems appropriate to make cocktails with these without sugar, which is very easy to do. Think about fresh juices, fresh fruit, or even flavored sparkling water. I’m a big fan of Absolut Juice Strawberry and Lime Bubly Sparkling Water or the Ketel One Botanical Grapefruit & Rose with Raspberry Bubly Sparkling Water. Experiment, have fun, and keep the calories down so that you can stay on track with your personal health goals.

Judd Smith is a local wine enthusiast and creator of www.BeardandBarrelBlog.com.