Sophisticated Healthy Cocktails

By New You Editorial
Posted On Mar 01, 2017
Sophisticated Healthy Cocktails

Up, with a healthy Twist

This spring, we’re focused on fruit-infused cocktails that taste fabulous and even have health benefits. Giada de Laurentiis—author and host of The Next Food Network Star and Giada’s Kitchen—reveals her favorite recipes with culinary herbs such as thyme, ginger, and basil to bring texture and aroma, plus age-defying and pain relieving benefits, to your favorite drinks. Cheers to a healthier happy hour. 

Ginger Tea Lemonade with Basial from Giada At Home

Because it’s so refreshing, this is always my go-to non-alcoholic drink. I love using ginger— not only because I enjoy the spicy kick of flavor but because it’s also like a natural painkiller, with a number of anti-inflammatory properties. It is the perfect drink after a long day.

2 cups water
3 black (such as English Breakfast) tea bags
2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 1/ cups Ginger Simple Syrup (recipe follows)
2/ cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 3 lemons)
1 cup sparkling water or club soda, chilled
2 cups ice
lemon slices for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil over high heat. Remove pan from heat and add tea bags. Stir and allow mixture to cool to room temperature, approximately 20 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard. Lay basil leaves on a cutting board and cover with a sheet of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll over the basil to bruise the leaves. Remove plastic wrap and add basil to tea. Pour in ginger simple syrup and lemon juice. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour. Just before serving, add the sparkling water to mixture. Place ice in a large pitcher and pour lemonade over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and serve.

Yields 4 to 6 servings.

Ginger Simple Syrup

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 (3-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and ginger over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Remove pan from heat and allow syrup to cool, about 20 minutes. Strain before using.

Yields 1 1/2 cups

 

Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellini from Giada’s Kitchen

The combination of cranberry and pomegranate juices produces a refreshing burst of  antioxidants. I love the additional fresh mint and pomegranate seeds. It’s a cocktail that deserves it’s own toast! If you prefer a drink that’s less sweet, simply cut a bit back on the simple syrup.

1 1/2 cups simple syrup (recipe follows)
1 1/2 cups unsweetened pomegranate juice, chilled
1 cup unsweetened cranberry juice, chilled
1 (750ml) bottle prosecco, chilled
2 limes, sliced thin
1 bunch fresh mint, for garnish
1/4 cup (2 1/2 ounces) pomegranate seeds
1 cup ice

Place ice in a punch bowl. Add simple syrup, pomegranate juice, and cranberry juice. Stir well. Slowly pour in Prosecco. Garnish with lime slices, mint sprigs, and pomegranate seeds, and serve. As an alternative to serving from a punch bowl, make bellini mixture in a 6-to-8 cup capacity pitcher. Divide pomegranate seeds between 12 Champagne flutes. Add 1 slice of lime and 1 sprig of mint to each glass. Pour bellini mixture into prepared glasses and serve. ? Yields 8 to 12 servings

 

Blueberry Limoncello Cooler From Giada At Home

Recent studies show that blueberries—already

known for their super antioxidant properties— actually help to burn belly fat linked to heart disease and diabetes. That makes this cooler heart-happy, and the blueberries are a great burst of color in the drink. I love the sweetness of these berries mixed with the great tanginess of the limoncello—perfect!

1 (750ml) bottle limoncello liqueur, chilled
1 cup sparkling water, chilled
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries*
5 fresh mint sprigs, lightly crushed, plus extra for garnish
Crushed ice

In a pitcher, combine limoncello, sparkling water, blueberries, and mint sprigs. Fill highball glasses halfway with crushed ice. Pour approximately 1/ cup of limoncello mixture over the ice. Garnish with mint sprigs and serve. *Cook’s Note: If using frozen blueberries, add them to pitcher just before serving.

Yields 4 to 6 servings

Simple Syrup

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Take pan off heat and allow syrup to cool.

Yields 1 1/2 cups

 

Apple and Thyme Martini From Giada’s Kitchen

An apple a day! This martini is full of antioxidants and other time-tested nutrients. I love the crisp freshness of the apple along with the lemony thyme. It’s always a party pleaser.

10 ounces vodka
6 ounces apple juice
1/ cup thyme syrup (recipe follows)
1 large apple, peeled
4 fresh thyme sprigs ice

Chill 4 martini glasses in the freezer. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add vodka, apple juice, and thyme syrup and shake for approximately 10 seconds. Divide between the 4 chilled martini glasses. Using a melon baller, scoop out small balls of apple. Place 3 balls of apple and 1 sprig of thyme in each glass for garnish. Serve immediately.

Yields 4 servings

Thyme Simple Syrup
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
5 large fresh thyme sprigs

In a saucepan, combine sugar, water, and thyme. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until sugar has dissolved, approximately 5 minutes. Take pan off heat and cool syrup. Any extra cooled syrup can be saved in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Yields 1 cup.

 


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