I’m hearing a lot of mixed things about agave. About how it is just as bad, or worse than, high fructose corn syrup. About how it is extremely processed and quality varies greatly. Etc. Etc.
Truthfully, I’m sure exactly what to believe, but better to be safe than sorry. I went ahead and took out agave from all the recipes and put in honey. I also think raw sugar is a decent option.
Bottom line, it is DEFINITELY safe to decrease sweetener intake overall, so that should really be your main goal.
Link: one take on agave nectar.
Brief: pineapples are in season and are GREAT mixers. This blended, smoothie-like cocktail is really good and very healthy (no sugar added!).
You should probably turn this awkward gem of a song on repeat while you make this cocktail: The Pineapple Song.
Makes: 1 pitcher
- 1 whole pineapple
- 2 frozen bananas
- 6 oz Meyer lemon juice (~4 lemons)
- 6 oz vodka (or rum)
- ice (if necessary)
- freeze the bananas and then chop them up so they blend easily (it’s OK if you don’t freeze the bananas, I just prefer it cold)
- dice the pineapple (see the video below for proper technique on selecting and cutting)
- make the lemon juice
- combine all ingredients into a blender and add ice if there’s still room in the blender
- be careful – don’t drink too quickly (this really masks the taste of the alcohol!)
The booze choice is pretty flexible. Rum, gin, tequila will all pretty much work. The hardest part is dicing the pineapple, which I’ll just have my good buddy Jack explain:
awkward strawberry-head man
Brief: it was over 80 in L.A. this weekend, meaning it was time to BBQ and have some blended drinks. Instead of combining some gross pre-made mixers with tequila, I went to Trader Joe’s and grabbed some fresh fruit.
In this situation, I went for some very fresh looking strawberries and meyer lemons. I also had some mango juice, so I made mango juice ice cubes to use instead of normal ice.
Makes: 1 pitcher
- 15 medium to large sized strawberries
- 12 oz of fresh squeezed lemon juice (~8 lemons) – limes OK, too
- 15-20 mango juice ice cubes – blender should be 2/3 full with ice (normal ice works too, but add 8 oz juice)
- 8 oz tequila
- 4 tablespoons of honey
- mango juice in ice trays = mango juice ice cubes
- cut the tops of the strawberries (and make your fresh squeezed lemon juice)
- combine all ingredients into a blender and blend
- be amazed. be refreshed
This one is easy to make and easy to modify. Just switch out the strawberries and/or mango juice for whatever fruit looks fresh (papaya, kiwi, cranberry, orange, blueberry, pineapple, raspberry, etc). BUT, do not remove the 12 ounces of lemon/lime juice. It is critical.
Brief: So I’ve made a couple cocktails before this that were definitely NOT worth posting; however this Kiwi based drink is awesome! It’s strong, so is meant to be served as a martini or in a highball (full of ice). Watch yourself.
Kiwi is loaded with vitamin C and also a good source of fiber, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin E, and manganese. So don’t be afraid to add extra kiwi if you have it.
Awkward fruit pictures are a dime a dozen; this gigantic kiwi topped with more kiwi is no exception.
Makes: 2 cocktails
- 20 mint leaves (flexible)
- 2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- 4 small to medium sized kiwis (peeled)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- 4 oz of light rum (vodka and gin also work)
- 2 oz water
- Puree the kiwis in a cuisine art or blender (or just smush if necessary).
- Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker (with ice if you’re serving as a martini). Shake hard!
- Strain into highball glass (tall and skinny) filled w/ ice, or martini glass.
If you’re a pulp lover, combine everything except the kiwi and strain. Then add the kiwi puree as the last step and mix. Hardest part of this drink is peeling the kiwis and pureeing them. Otherwise, pretty easy and great!
Posted in Gin, Rum, Vodka
Tagged honey, kiwi, lime, mint
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Brief: OK, so I’ve felt like crap for the last week. A bad head cold has left me all but sidelined from drinking (not hearing any complaints from my liver). My poor little healthy cocktail blog was getting very lonely until I had a pretty genius idea; make a cocktail that clears my sinuses!
Anyway, full credit goes to the Food Wolf’s Cold Cure Cocktail (check it out here), which provided the base for this recipe.
Makes: 2 cocktails
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 1 oz fresh lime juice (~2 fresh squeezed limes) – lemons OK, too
- 3 oz of whiskey (I used Laphroaig 10 which is TOO good to be mixed, but hey, I’m sick and confused. Leave me alone.)
- 2 oz of homemade jalapeño & ginger infused simple syrup (see directions on how to make). Includes:
- 1 cup of sugar (I used TJ’s evaporated cane juice – less processed)
- 1 or 2 chopped-up jalapeños (seeds removed). The more, the spicier. Be careful when cutting. See the video at the end of this post for a quick run down on cutting jalapeños.
- 1/4 cup of chopped-up fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup of water
- Make the simple syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a sauce pan and put on high heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to low and let sit for 10 minutes. Add in jalapeño and ginger and set heat to medium. Once jalapeño skin turns brownish (4-5 minutes), turn off heat and let cool. Store leftovers in the ‘fridge in an airtight container.
- Add the boiling water, lime juice, booze, and simple syrup into a coffee cup and stir. Your “healthy cocktail” is now ready to enjoy.
Thoughts: Wow. This cleared my sinuses, gave me a little buzz, and even tasted pretty good. Best day of being sick so far. Give it a try – it’s worth the effort!
(Round 2: With my leftover spicy syrup, I’ll be trying it with some Jameson tonight. Note: I followed through with round 2 but used a mix of tangerine and lemon juice because I was low on lemons. It was still good, but the lemon feels more soothing. I highly recommend making sure the drink is HOT [in temperature]. I’m also happy to report I’m almost back to 100%. So stop worrying about me, seriously.)
Oh look what I found, a mango on a perfectly raked, white sand beach. I hope it's organic.
Brief: a surprisingly good margarita substitute that contains around half as many calories as a normal margarita (please stay away from store-bought margarita mix!).
Makes: 1 cocktail
- 1 oz mango juice (I used Trader Joe’s Mango Passion Fruit Blend)
- 1/2 oz lime juice (about 1 fresh squeezed lime)
- 1.5 oz tequila (the lighter colored, the better)
- 3 oz filtered water
- 1/2 oz of honey
- 1 cup ice
- in a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients including ice.
- shake vigorously (feel free to throw the lime pieces in there).
- strain into a margarita cup with ice (or any old cup).
- if you’re fancy, garnish with lime wedge.
If you’re having a party, an alternate is to multiply the recipe by five and put in a blender. Serve in a pitcher. It will be tough to have just one of these.
If anyone out there actually reads this, I’d love to hear your thoughts, critiques, changes, or whatever.