It's almost holiday party time, and that means tray upon tray of tantalizing, steaming winter beverages. From after-dinner Irish coffee to mulled wine by the fireside and all the rich new winter offerings at your local coffee shop, this season is rife with opportunities to curl up with a warm drink. But watch what you're guzzling; most of winter's most popular drinks are full of cream and sugar and have unappetizing calorie counts. Here's a countdown of the season's worst offenders.
7. Irish Coffee: Spiking an innocent cup of black coffee with alcohol and cream will ratchet up the drink's unhealthiness. One shot of Bailey's Irish Cream contains 94 calories and 5.8 grams of fat, according to thedailyplate.com, and you can multiply that by however many shots it'll take to keep you, well, warm. Double it for a nice big mug of coffee, and you're talking 188 calories and nearly 12 grams of fat.
6. Chai Tea Latte: This spice-laden seasonal favorite is chockfull of the sugar and milk used to flavor the tea. A grande chai latte from the café chain Cosi has 191 calories and 3 grams of fat; a grande Starbucks chai latte has 250 calories and 4 grams of fat.
5. Hot Apple Cider: Apple cider is high in vitamin C, but it's packed with sugar, too, which leads to its hefty calorie count. A two-cup serving without any extras can cost you 286 calories and has a whopping 55.2 grams of sugar. That's more sugar than you'll find in a 2.17 oz. bag of Skittles candy (47 grams).
4. Pumpkin Spice Latte: It's not the holiday season until Starbucks breaks out its festive red cups, and with them the chain's winter flavors, from gingersnap to peppermint mocha. But look before you sip: a grande pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream, delicious as it may be, will set you back 380 calories and 13 grams of fat.
3. Hot-Buttered Rum: This colonial-era recipe combines sugar, butter, cinnamon, ice cream and rum for a rich, warming treat. One large serving (two cups' worth) of the fireside favorite packs 600 calories and 26 grams of fat, according to a recipe posted on landolakes.com.
2. Eggnog: Try to stay away from the pitcher of eggnog at all those holiday parties this year: A two-cup serving contains 686 calories and 36 grams of fat, according to caloriecount.about.com.
1. Hot Cocoa: Hot cocoa, that quintessential winter beverage, doesn't have to pack a calorie-laden punch. Prepared from a mix with water and no whipped-cream topper, two cups of hot cocoa contain a relatively slim 220 calories and 2.2 grams of fat. But one homemade recipe with all the toppings—we're talking chocolate chips, vanilla extract, whipped cream, sugar and milk—contains a decadent 775 calories and 66 grams of fat per two-cup serving, according to recipezaar.com.