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Juice Cocktails: Have your alcohol and greens too?

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Tis the holiday season! Other than processed foods and refined sugars, the culprit of holiday weight gain and sluggishness is excessive alcohol consumption.

A part of you is relieved that you can use “the holidays” as an excuse to indulge, while the other part of you feels guilty, and promises yourself that you’ll clean up your diet in the New Year. After all, it is hard to resist that bottle of red wine.

Excessive alcohol consumption can take a toll in our health, contributing to premature aging and weight gain, even if we do everything else right. However, many of you derive great joys from drinking and socialising over the holidays. If I were to say refrain from drinking, this is ineffective.

Rather than trying to refrain from alcohol, what if you can minimise the “damage?” Pacing your drinking by having 2-3 glasses of water or 100% all-natural fruit or vegetable juice for every 1 glass of wine, and ideally no more than 1 glass of alcoholic beverage in 2 hours, is doable.

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Still, there’s room for an innovative idea so you can counteract your overindulgence by integrating some healthiness into your alcohol: Add fresh, raw, cold-pressed, unpasteurized green juice into your alcohol.

I emphasize cold-pressed and unpasteurized green juice, because no additional heat or oxygen is used in the process of juicing, meaning that fewer nutrients are lost in the heat of pasteurization. Also, freshly cold-pressed juice just tastes better.

This way, you can get your dose of antioxidants in, balancing things out.

This is why we love this invention: Green juice cocktails. These green juice cocktails offer us the opportunity to indulge, while enabling us to integrate some healthiness into our holidays.

Don’t be discouraged by green juice. The holiday drinks below are satisfying, refreshing, and quaffable. I’ve consulted with green juice expert and mixoligist Eric James Horton-Brande from Juicero and curated these 3 imaginative juice cocktails. These recipes only take a few minutes, and the combination in these recipes really make it!

“I created these green juice cocktails to help celebrate this holiday season. During a time where there are many opportunities to imbibe, I thought it would be great to add a little cold-pressed vegetable juice to help balance things out. The juice pairs nicely with alcohol, and adds herbal and vegetal notes to your drink without muddling them. Like with food, it tastes better to add fresh ingredients.” – Eric James Horton-Brande, Juicero Executive Chef & Mixologist

Recipe #1: Sweet Greens

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Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Juicero Sweet Greens juice (organic apple, organic spinach, organic pineapple, organic kale, organic lemon), or any green juice that includes apple
  • 2 oz sweet white vermouth
  • 1 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1 oz bitters
  • 1 oz light agave nectar
  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

Method:

  1. Muddle rosemary, then add the rest of the ingredients into a shaker bottle with ice.
  2. Shake to chill, then strain. Garnish with rosemary sprig.

Recipe #2: Spicy Greens Margarita

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Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 fl oz. Juicero Spicy Greens juice (organic pineapple, organic romaine, organic celery, organic cucumber, organic spinach, organic parsley, organic jalapeño, organic lemon), or equivalent
  • 2 fl oz. mescal (or high quality tequila)
  • 1 fl oz. lime juice
  • 3 dashes lime bitters
  • 1 fl oz. agave
  • pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Serve over ice with rim: lime, salt, sugar, chili powder.

With the above being said, I couldn’t just end there: this is after all the season of glorious indulgence, so I had to give you this utterly ravishing but easy third recipe. I’ve saved the best for the last.

This is not exactly a “green” juice cocktail, but I promise you, this authentically red holiday drink, made with promegranate, is bursting with flavor and antioxidants.

This unique recipe combines anti-inflammatory pomegranate and kombucha, fermented probiotic tea, that may give your digestive system a boost.

Recipe #3: Pomegranate Glow Stick

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Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 fl oz. Juicero ‘Granate Glow juice (pomegranate, apple, cucumber, beet, lemon) or equivalent
  • 2 fl oz. Gin
  • 1/2 fl oz. simple syrup or agave (optional)
  • a few sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 fresh spearmint leaves
  • 3 fl oz. pomegranate kombucha
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt

Method:

  1. Muddle rosemary and mint in cocktail shaker.
  2. Add Juicero juice, gin, simple syrup and a few grains of salt.
  3. Shake with ice until very cold, strain and top with Pomegranate Kombucha

So, can you have your alcohol and stay healthy at the same time? Well, the jury is still out. I do think, however, that you may be able to minimise the “damage” by incorporating green juice in your drink, especially if you tend to overindulge.

With the above being said, if you’re a die hard health nut, it may still be best to refrain from drinking alcohol. But, since we all love to indulge once in a while, it may be worthwhile to give green juice cocktails a shot. And you can always “detox” in the New Year. 😉

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and here’s to savouring our way into a fantastic new year!