Nourishing and full of antioxidants, fresh-pressed juice cocktails are a healthy new drink trend we can raise a glass to. We’ll happily toss aside cloying, artificially colored syrups in favor of fresh botanicals and juices for a more refreshing poolside happy hour. Making your own flavored syrups or pressing your own juices is an extra step worth taking when you’re playing bartender at home. Here are three recipes to get you started.
Davanti Enoteca’s General Manager Josh Zanow is vegan and wanted to add a vegan-friendly drink to the cocktail menu. Davanti already makes a fresh-pressed Green Machine juice—a blend of kale, spinach, broccoli, banana, kiwi and ginger. The Earthy Cocktail combines green juice with Tito’s vodka, and is a hit among San Diego’s health-conscious clientele. Although the drink originated in Davanti’s San Diego location, it’s also available in Chicago’s Taylor Street location.
The Earthy Cocktail:
- 16 oz. fresh-pressed Green Machine juice*
- 1 oz. lemon juice
- 1 oz. ginger liquor
- 2 oz. Tito’s gluten-free vodka
* To make Green Machine juice combine one handful of mixed greens, one banana, one peeled kiwi, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of crushed ginger and one cup of water in a blender and blend.
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice in a shaker; pour into a Mason jar or highball glass over ice. Garnish with a slice of kale and an orange peel.
Don’t ask for a Blue Hawaiian at Kerry Mekeel’s apothecary bar at the Hotel Wailea in Maui. She refuses to serve guests artificially blue curacao. Instead, she’s pressing all her own juices from fresh fruit and vegetables, making all her own syrups (from jalapeño to rose) and adding local kombucha and hydrosols to her drinks for additional health benefits.
“I’m dousing you with sunshine here,” she explains, referring to the double dose of liliko’i (passion fruit) and orange juice in the Liquid Sunshine. “You feel good—energized, rejuvenated—after drinking these cocktails.”
- 2 oz. vodka of choice
- 1 1/2 oz. of freshly juiced ginger
- Fresh liliko’i juice* (passion fruit juice)
1. Fill a glass with ice cubes.
2. Add all ingredients, topping off the glass with liliko’I juice.
3. Shake and enjoy!
*To make fresh liliko’i juice, you need one passion fruit per 1 cup of water. Use all of the fruit’s interior: seeds, pulp & juice. To sweeten, you can use organic cane sugar, pure honey or agave nectar. If you use sugar, add 2 tablespoons per 1 fruit/1 cup water. If you use honey/agave, use 1 tablespoon. Liliko’i can be too tart for some, so make sure the fruit is at its ripest. Also, add more or less sweetener according to your personal taste.
Alex Bachman (recipient of this year’s Jean Banchet Award for Best Mixologist) runs the beverage programs at Yusho, A10 and Billy Sunday—and he has a passion for tomatoes. “Tomatoes are the greatest fruit in the world,” Bachman proclaims. He first had tomato water 12 years ago while working at Charlie Trotter’s and calls it a “life-changing experience.” Now, it can change your life when you try Bachman’s tomato water cocktail at Billy Sunday.
“Old Ivory Egg is the name of an heirloom tomato strain that we are quite fond of,” he says. “The tomato water will run clear, with a small yellow tinge, if done properly. The color in tomatoes stems from the solids, mostly the skin. So no red color here.”
Bachman pairs the tomato water with bacanora, a Mexican liquor derived from agave. “It has many tequila-like attributes but a green character that pairs nicely with the tomato water and miso,” Bachman explains. He also adds a touch of kummel, a caraway-flavored liqueur that enforces the tomato water’s subtle savory notes.
Old Ivory Egg:
- Juice of 4 limes
- 1/4 of a large cucumber
- 4 one-inch pieces of celery
- 2 oz. fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons yellow miso
- 6 dashes hot chili sauce of your choice
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 5-6 pinches of salt, or to taste
- 2 1/2 cups tomato water*
- 16 oz. bacanora (tequila can be substituted)
- 1 oz. kummel
*To make tomato water, salt and blend tomatoes, then hang them overnight in cheesecloth to extract the water
1. Combine lime juice, cucumber, celery, fish sauce, miso, hot sauce and basil leaves in a blender; fully blend and strain. Add tomato water, bacanora and kummel.
2. Pass again through a fine chinois, cheesecloth or coffee filter.
3. Garnish with herbs of choice (borage is recommend).
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