As I'm sure you've realized by now, one of the guiding principles of my approach to mixology is to provide recipes that are fresh, natural, and lower in sugar content. While cocktails can't be considered definitively healthy, I make sure my recipes aren't definitively unhealthy (in other words, you can enjoy a few and still feel good the next day).
I'm constantly on the look for new ingredients that live up to my standards in terms of content and nutrition. My latest find, launched in Chicago's own Green City Market and serving as the inspiration for my next series of posts, is Seasons Soda. All three of their creative flavors are free of refined sweeteners, colors, preservatives, and artificial flavors. Plus, the sugar content is wonderfully reasonable - just 14 grams per bottle.
The Honeymint Demi-Sec flavor begged to be paired with cold-brewed green tea for a magically refreshing libation. Because let's be honest, you can never go wrong with the combination of tea, honey and mint. All types of green tea are high on my list but the Japanese Sencha is specially delicious due to its deep and grassy flavor. The strength of flavor ensured that it didn't get lost among the other ingredients of this cocktail.
I chose to stay with the Japanese theme and keep the alcohol content light by using sake (a huge thanks to our Binny's helper who recommended this particular variety). Finally, I added a touch of lemon to balance out the soda's light sweetness. The result was lightly effervescent, energizing and perfect for a hot summer day.
The Kyoto Chiller
- 2 oz sake
- 2 oz cold-brewed green tea*
- 2 oz Honeymint Demi-Sec soda
- 1/4 lemon
- fresh mint sprig
Shake all ingredients other than the fresh mint in a shaker with ice until chilled. Strain into a tall, cylindrical glass over crushed ice and garnish the mint sprig. Enjoy while reading up on Japanese history and culture on your next lazy weekend.
* To make cold-brewed green tea, follow a ratio of roughly 1 tea bag to 8 oz room temperature water. Allow to steep for 30-40 minutes. Cold-brewed tea can also be stored in the fridge for future use.