Here are a few recipes for cocktails that are delicious with a hint of glamour: herbal martinis. They avoid the syrupy sugar taste too many cocktails have, while imparting a delicate sweetness. They are, dare-I-say-it, chic.
You can choose whatever herb you like, because the method is the same. Basil is utterly delicious and goes well with a tomato bruschetta. Lavender creates a soft, beautiful taste that conjures up Provence. Tarragon imbues the martini with a subtle anise flavor. Choose your own adventure.
1. Make a simple syrup using one part sugar to one part water. (You can make a large batch and store extra in the fridge for a week or two.) Bring to a boil over a medium-low flame.
2. Steep herb in simple syrup for five minutes, then strain and discard herb.
3. Mix herbal syrup, vodka and a splash of club soda in a martini shaker with ice. (I use the ratio of 2 parts syrup to 1 part vodka, but adjust to your taste.)
4. Shake and strain when icy cold.
5. Garnish with herb. Sip at leisure
Option: You can substitute the basil, lavender or tarragon for any herb you love.
My favorite drink when I turned 21 was the über-uncool Pina Colada. I knew it was horribly gauche, but gosh darn it, it was just so yummy. I slurped them back and danced all night long, until one day I read that they have 760 calories a pop. Not even my wild dancing can outdo that kind of damage. I quickly came up with a simple alternative that has the same flavors, but drastically different calorie counts. It’s refreshing and tropical and slightly cooler than the original. Enjoy.
1 oz Malibu rum
3 0z Pineapple juice
squirt of lime
You can make this two ways:
1. The easiest is to mix all the ingredients together in a martini shaker with ice and pour it over the rocks or strain to a martini glass.
2. You can also pour the pineapple juice into an ice cube tray and freeze. Add the pineapple ice, rum and lime to a blender for a frosty treat.
Option: If you want it a little more like the real thing, add a splash of Lite Coconut milk. This will add some calories, but it will also have the richness of the original without nearly as many calories.