I have the good fortune to live in Los Angeles and in my backyard is a lemon tree that bares fruit year round it seems. Besides a squeeze of lemon here and there on some fish or in a dressing, I started playing with spiked drinks too… as GOD intended I’m sure. He does turn water into wine afterall. And since I’m a chef this seems like a natural course of action. I know we’re all trying to eat right, live right and I thought I’d help “US” by drinking right too… yes, it is possible and you can thank me later.
Our main ingredients for these cocktails are fruits and veggies and just a splash of whatever your favorite alcohol is. Sounds healthy to me. All recipes will call for just a splash” of alcohol so let’s define that since my splash may be different than your splash. And this is easier than me saying an ounce of this cuz its annoying to measure small quantities (I’m not a chemist, I’m a chef). We will use a 3-count to pour our alcohol. Meaning as you pour, count 1,2,3 and you’re done. You may choose to count 1-Miss-iss-ipppp…pi…2… but then that’s all your problem later.
SPIKED BEET LEMONADE with Vodka (trust me… think crazy, beautiful, better than pink lemonade plus you just added another fresh vegetable so it’s even healthier!)
To make perfect lemonade every time here’s the rule of thumb: 1 cup of lemon juice (this could mean squeezing 6-8 lemons depending on size), 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, dissolve sugar and then dilute with 4 cups of cold water. Add juice of 1 red beet (optional) pour until color turns the right amount of awesome. It doesn’t take much. Add ice to a glass, fill ¾ of the way from the top, add a 3-count of vodka. Stir with finger (I think it tastes better). Drink and make that thirst quenching sound!
PENICILLIN (sounds healthy already!)
This one is my current favorite and we’re using bourbon but you can use whiskey or scotch or rye… doesn’t matter and I don’t really know the difference, I just like it. Squeeze juice of 1 lime into a shaker, add a squeeze of honey (as much as you would into a cup of tea, so maybe a teaspoon), grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger (optional but it’ll make you big and strong so try it). This will yield enough for 2 drinks approx unless you’re a big drinker. Add your bourbon, figure on a quick 6 count (c’mon it’s 2 drinks!)
Shake it up real good til everything’s incorporated. The honey gets clumpy if you add the cold to it, so add ice at the end. Fill shaker with ice and bruise the ice, I mean shake it hard, this will allow little ice chips to form when you pour it. It’s doctor recommended… ok I’m lying but it is chef approved.
JUICER BLOODY MARY with vodka or beer (in which case it’s a MICHELADA)
Add all ingredients to the juicer (except alcohol)… this automatically makes everything super healthy so adding vodka/beer doesn’t even count, really?.
3 stalks of celery
1 carrot (why not)
½ jalapeno pepper
juice of 1 lemon
Add juice to a shaker. This is enough for 2 tall drinks so add vodka/beer accordingly, shake, shake, shake. Rim glasses with salt and pepper, place a pickle “stirrer” in glass. This drink will cure all that ails you. Feelin’ healthy yet? You’re gonna!
SMOKY PALOMA with tequilas (yep plural)
Add everything to a shaker…start with your favorite tequila, like a neutral one. Do a 2 count cuz you’re gonna use another tequila too. Then find a smoky one like a mescal and do a 1 count. Or just use a smoky one for the whole thing if you like. Add juice of ½ lime and juice of ½ blood orange and like a smidge of agave. I say smidge cuz agave is waay sweeter than honey or sugar and a little goes a long way. Add ice and bruise it, smash it, shake it hard. Pour into a margarita glass, garnish with a blood orange twist, run a flame through it for more smoky, orangey essence.
If you all indulge a bit too much on these drinks my recommendation is to wake up and try one of them in the morning. I’m your friend. I’m here to help. Drink responsibly and have a great time cuz I had a blast trying these out! xoxo