HAPPY SPRING 2013!
ENJOY A FEW OF MY
Spring 2013 has arrived and with it the bounty of Mother Nature brings some real happy to Happy Hour with seasonal fruits, herbs and vegetables. It's a perfect time to emphasize the health and flavor benefits of bringing the garden into your cocktail glass with martini recipes muddled, mixed and made marvelous with fresh produce and a little imagination. Spring is the time of renewal and rebirth and there's no reason that can't be applied to cocktail hour!
I have never been one to use bottled cocktail mixes. Why would anyone choose artificial flavors and colors over the real thing? Why pollute your martini or cocktail with chemicals when fresh ingredients are so much more flavorful and loaded with nutrients? Starting in early Spring, I hover over my little herb garden and haunt my local farmer's markets for seasonal goodies for creating new and interesting cocktails and liquor infusions. When I come home, the contents of my shopping bag will often become my martini of the day!
It takes only a few minutes to create a delicious and healthy cocktail from fresh ingredients, not that much longer than it takes to open up a bottled mix, and the results are well worth the effort. The ritual of mixing up a cocktail is also a bit Zen, part of the complete Happy Hour experience of sipping and sharing with friends at the end of a stressful day.
Even edible flowers can be incorporated into cocktails with the use of floral essences, edible flower petals and edible flower syrups and vinegars! Micro greens are another great way to bring Spring to your cocktail hour. Think of your garden and farmer's market when you get out your cocktail shakers this year and get some spring in your sip.
There's a lot of Spring just waiting to jump into your cocktail shaker so be smart about what you bring into your body. If you are what you eat, then maybe you are what you drink as well.
À VOTRE SANTÉ - To Your Health!
A Few Healthy Cocktail Tips:
- If you don't have a local farmer's market or have a difficult time finding good quality fresh ingredients where you live, frozen produce can be a good substitute, often holding as much or more nutritional value than "fresh" produce that has traveled for a week and sat in a grocery store!
- You can often substitute local honey or agave syrup for simple syrup, thus gaining nutrients from your sweetening ingredient.
- Reduce fruit juices into syrups for sweetening your cocktails not only is healthier, it adds more flavor.
- Replacing heavy creams and half & half with almond milk, soy milk and even non-flavored yogurts can up the health value of a cocktail.
- You can serve Mocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails for guests who don't imbibe