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Cocktails infused with spices such as lavender, ginger or cardamom can help melt away holiday stress, fight fatigue or fire up your metabolism.
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updated 12/31/2008 10:44:34 AM ET 2008-12-31T15:44:34

Absolut Vanilia infused with lavender
During the hellidays, stress levels soar higher than the star atop the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. For eons, lavender has been used to melt mental tension and relax muscles (hanging strings of lights can do a number on your back). And new research confirms that the scent of lavender can improve sleep.

Bacardi Peach infused withginger and clove
Ginger can ward off the only things scarier than a week-long ski trip with the in-laws: cold and flu bugs. (Imbibed post-snowboarding, this drink's natural heat will thaw you out, too.) Add cloves and enjoy a concoction that tastes like peach pie and is rich in fatigue-fighting omega-3s and bone-building manganese.

Absolut Citron infused with cardamom
Spicy-sweet, exotic cardamom fires up your metabolism, so no worries about wearing a pencil skirt to the holiday office party. The Indian spice is also a firefighter, so it's a godsend for the heartburn you got scarfing down Uncle Ted's green-bean-and-fried-onion casserole.

Tanqueray gin infused with juniper
If December had a flavor, this pine-scented mix would be it. The slight bitterness makes it a tummy-soothing nightcap after an evening of gluttony, and studies show that juniper berries can prevent blood-sugar levels from spiking — so you can stay calm and composed even when you have every right to bludgeon your pushy cousin with a menorah.

Hennessy cognacinfused with chili powder
A perfect drink to enjoy under the mistletoe. This zesty blend generates just enough heat to make your lips and tongue tingle — and to help you burn a few extra calories. Bonus: Two tablespoons of chili powder contain 88 percent of your recommended daily dosage of vitamin A, which fortifies mucus membranes to help hold off nasty winter viruses.

© 2012 Rodale Inc. All rights reserved.

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