We’ve all heard about that Thanksgiving where Uncle Jim or cousin Johnny drank too much. Often it’s not on purpose – guests usually show up hungry, with a completely or mostly empty stomach, and then all of sudden that first cocktail hits them hard.

The best “medicine” is prevention, so to avoid getting too tipsy, too early, this Thanksgiving, use my strategy:

  1. Eat. Never drink on an empty stomach. Even if you can normally hold 2-3 drinks on a special occasion, one is going to wreck you if it’s on an empty stomach. If you don’t think your host or hostess will provide pre-dinner snacks, offer to bring something simple. Cut vegetables with dip, crostini, or olives with some chunks of cheese work well. Just a little bit of food helps.
  2. Go light, and pace yourself. Limit yourself to one cocktail before dinner.
  3. Try my Thanksgiving Cosmopolitan or simply add club soda to any cocktail to lighten the spirits.

Size Matters

Today’s cocktail glasses have something in common with today’s bagels and muffins: They’ve grown in size. A typical martini or daiquiri glass in the 1970s held 2-3 ounces. Today’s glassware, such as the one pictured on the left here, holds 4-5 ounces. Double the size, double the calories. While it may be a challenge to find smaller cocktail glasses, maybe you can put this on your Wish List?

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Skinny Thanksgiving Cosmopolitan

By using less vodka, some club soda, and a diet juice or mixer, you can create a lower sugar, lower calorie cocktail, and not arrive at the table too tipsy.
Servings 1 serving
Author Rosanne Rust MS RDN, www.rustnutrition.com


  • 1 ounce citrus flavored vodka can omit or use less
  • Club Soda splash = 1/2 ounce
  • 2 ounces Light or Diet Cranberry Juice Cocktail
  • Fresh limes and oranges garnish


  • Pour ice into a cocktail shaker.
  • Add vodka and shake vigorously.
  • Pour into a martini glass, and top with Diet Cranberry juice and a splash of club soda.
  • Garnish with a squeeze of lime and a fresh orange slice. Enjoy!