Are Cocktails Healthy? These 10 Delicious Drink Recipes Are Actually Good for You - Maxim

10 Cocktail Recipes That Are Actually Good For You

Forget superfoods, try superbooze instead.
Author:
Publish date:
Tequila Cocktails Promo

In their health-conscious new cocktail book, Doctor’s Orders, Chris Edwards and Dave Tregenza  prescribe tonics, cures, and concoctions to cure whatever ails you – whether it’s a broken heart, a hangover, or simply a thirst for a good drink. And hey, some of these crazy cocktails are actually good for you, too.

Here they offer up 10 totally unique and (sometimes wildly complex) drinks that are supposedly good for you, and how to make them at home. Now drink two and call us in the morning.

REMEDIES

Beets by Wray

Doctors Orders_Beets by Wray

An earthy, raw and root-based twist on a daiquiri featuring beet-infused white rum you can make at home, over-proof rum, Maraschino liqueur, vanilla, cloudy apple juice, and fresh lime juice, this is a drink full of nitrates that will improve blood flow, stamina, and brain power.

Ingredients:

  • 40 ml (1 ½ oz) beetroot-infused cachaça or white rum or use 50 ml (1 ¾ oz) of base spirit  
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) overproof rum (optional)
  • 15 ml (½ oz) Maraschino
  • 25 ml (1 oz) vanilla sugar or vanilla-infused sugar syrup
  • 25 ml (1 oz) cloudy apple juice
  • 25 ml (1 oz) fresh lime juice

Prep (2 hours ahead):

Add 1 sliced, cooked beetroot to a 700 ml (28 oz) bottle of cachaça or white rum. Leave for at least 2 hours. This will make enough for 14 drinks.

Serve:

Add all the ingredients to a shaker with ice. Shake hard and double strain into a large coupe over chipped ice. Garnish with store-bought lemon or beetroot sherbet and beetroot crisp.

To make beetroot sherbet, put the grated zest of 2 lemons and 2 thinly sliced, cooked beetroots into a dehydrator until both are crisp. Blend dried lemon and beetroot into a powder then add 100 g (3 ½ oz) caster sugar and 1 tablespoon citric acid until completely mixed. Add the beetroot sherbet to the pill cases for service, if desired.

To make beetroot crisps, preheat the oven to 60ºC (160ºF/Gas 0). Slice a cooked beetroot thinly on a mandolin. Lay the slices on a tray and bake until crisp. Alternatively, use a dehydrator if you have one.

Smoke the Weed

Doctors Orders_Smoke the weed

A peaty, vegetal, earthy negroni which will leave you on a high. Featuring a peaty or smoky whiskey, Cynar, Campari, store-bought dashi or seaweed stock, sugar syrup and pink grapefruit peel, you’ll get a good serve of iodine, calcium, and vitamins A and C – perfect for increasing energy and muscle strength.

Ingredients:

  • 25 ml (1 oz) peaty or smoky whisky
  • 15 ml (½ oz) Cynar
  • 15 ml (½ oz) Campari
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) store-bought dashi or seaweed stock 1
  • 5 ml (1/5 oz) sugar syrup
  • Pink grapefruit peel

Prep (2 hours ahead):

If making the seaweed stock, take 60 g (2 oz) of dried shiitake mushrooms, cover with water and bring to the boil. Add 6 nori seaweed sheets and stir until dissolved and infused. Add 1 tablespoon of dark soy sauce. Simmer until the mixture has reduced by half. This will last for a week in the fridge and makes 10 drinks.

Serve:

Add all the ingredients to a stirring glass filled with ice. Stir until sufficiently chilled. Single strain into a simple rocks glass over chipped ice. Twist a pink grapefruit peel over the top of the drink, then rim the glass with the peel. Garnish with store-bought kale crisps (chips) or dehydrated soy-glazed kale crisps (if desired) 2 served in a bag and mini clothes peg.

To make the soy-glazed kale crisps, preheat the oven to 60ºC (140ºF/ Gas 1). Take 500 kg (18 oz) of kale and wash thoroughly. Pat the kale dry, and then lay the kale leaves on a baking tray. Take a brush and glaze each leaf with soy sauce. Bake for about 2 hours until crisp, then bag up the leaves for serving. Alternatively, use a dehydrator if you’ve got one.

Ball Park Figure

Doctors Orders_Ball Park Figure

The smoky fig aromas lend a festive flair in this all-round fixer-upper of a drink that will aid digestion and keep you regular. Featuring peaty or smoky whiskey, bourbon, muddled fresh fig, ginger bitters (or a thumb of fresh ginger muddled), Angostura bitters, sugar syrup, and orange peel, dose up on K and B6 vitamins, magnesium, copper, fiber, and calcium.

Ingredients:

  • 25 ml (1 oz) smoky or peaty whisky
  • 25 ml (1 oz) bourbon
  • ½ fresh fig, muddled
  • 3 drops ginger bitters or ½ thumb fresh ginger, muddled
  • 3 drops Angostura bitters
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) sugar syrup
  • Orange peel

Prep (1 week ahead)

Serve:

Add all the ingredients to a stirring glass filled with ice. Stir until the mix is sufficiently chilled. Single strain (or double strain if using ginger) over chipped ice into a tumbler. Twist the orange peel over the drink. Garnish with half a bourbon fig.

To make bourbon figs, slice 10 figs in half and steep in 200 ml (7 oz) of bourbon. Use when needed. Pat before use.

Thirst Aid

Doctors Orders_Thirst Aid

A nuclear and herbal smoky gin sour, made with dry gin, smoky mescal, Green Chartreuse, fresh sage and mint leaves, pineapple juice, fresh lemon juice, and elderflower cordial, this Vitamin C-packed cocktail will help with development and wisdom, and is a great antiseptic.

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml (2 oz) dry gin
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) smoky mescal
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) Green Chartreuse
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 5 fresh mint leaves
  • 150 ml (5 oz) fresh or store bought pineapple juice (not from concentrate)
  • 25 ml (1 oz) fresh lemon juice
  • 20 ml (¾ oz) elderflower cordial

Serve:

Multiply the recipe quantities by the number of drinks you would like to make. Add all the ingredients to a large storage jar, stir and leave all the flavors to infuse for 10 minutes before straining the herbs from the mix. Then fill drip bags individually, if using, and refrigerate ready for serving. To serve, add drip bag to stand and roll over to the patient. Alternatively, simply pour the mix into highball glasses.

COMFORTERS

Citizen Cane

Doctors Orders_Citizen Kane

A double-barreled rum old-fashioned, with a treacle hit. Made with aged rum, agricole rum, liquid smoke (or smoked sugar syrup), Angostura bitters, orange bitters, and pink grapefruit peel, this hit is full of fiber and will increase sugar levels and act as a comforting sleep aid.

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml (1 oz) aged rum
  • 25 ml (1 oz) agricole rum
  • ½ teaspoon liquid smoke or 10 ml (1/3 oz) smoked sugar syrup
  • 3 drops Angostura bitters
  • 3 drops orange bitters
  • Pink grapefruit peel

Prep:

If making the smoked sugar syrup, add 1 bar spoon of smoke powder to 1 liter (35 oz) of hot sugar syrup (see below) in a storage jar. Stir the mixture until the powder has dissolved. Alternatively, use a smoking gun (we recommend a Super Aladin Smoker and Aromatizer) with hay or hickory (we like hay) to infuse a jar filled with 1 litre (35 oz) of sugar syrup. Capture the smoke by closing the jar. Repeat the process should you want more smoke but one hit should be enough.

Serve:

Add all the ingredients apart from the pink grapefruit to a stirring glass filled with ice. Stir until the mix is sufficiently chilled and strain over chipped ice. Twist pink grapefruit peel over the drink, rim the glass with the peel. Garnish with blowtorched fresh sugar cane. Use a blowtorch to give the sugar cane color all over the flesh.

Sugar Syrup

To make sugar syrup, mix equal quantities of sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then heat for 3 minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool and pour into a sterilized bottle or jar. Store in the fridge for up to one month.

Coconut Old-Fashioned

Doctors Orders_Coconut old fashioned

Take an old-fashioned tropical escape with this potassium-filled hangover-cure featuring aged rum, coconut water syrup (which you can make at home), Angostura bitters (with a variation to make a smoky hickory version), and orange oil.

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml (1 ¾ oz) aged rum
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) coconut water syrup reduction
  • 3 drops hickory Angostura bitters or ordinary Angostura bitters
  • Orange oil

Prep:

Add 250 ml (9 oz) of good-quality coconut water and 75 g (3 oz) of caster sugar to a pan over low heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved, then let the pan simmer for 10–15 minutes until the mix has reduced slightly. Let it cool before pouring into a bottle for serving. The syrup will last for 1 week in the fridge and makes 25 drinks.

If making the hickory Angostura bitters, add 25 ml (1 oz) of Stubb’s Hickory Liquid Smoke to 100 ml (3 ½ oz) of Angostura bitters and pour carefully into a dropper or bitters bottle.

Serve:

Add all the ingredients apart from the orange oil to a stirring glass filled with ice. Stir until the mix is sufficiently chilled and strain into the coconut, if using, or rocks glass, over chipped ice. Garnish with slice of coconut or coconut crisp.

REVIVERS

Last Words

Doctors Orders_Last words

Famous for a reason… made with dry gin, fresh lime juice, elderflower cordial, Maraschino liqueur, Green Chartreuse, Yellow Chartreuse, and fresh pink grapefruit juice, you’ll get a healthy dose of Vitamin C that will boost your immune system, cleanse your body, and act as an aphrodisiac.

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml (1 oz) dry gin
  • 20 ml (¾ oz) fresh lime juice
  • 15 ml (½ oz) elderflower cordial
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) Maraschino
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) Green Chartreuse
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) Yellow Chartreuse
  • 15 ml (½ oz) fresh pink grapefruit juice

Serve:

Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice.Shake hard then double strain into a vintage coupe. Garnish with lime twist.

Deer Hunter

Doctors Orders_Deer hunter

This is a real highlander of an old-fashioned, designed to offer warmth and comfort, filled with protein, amino acids, and enzymes. Featuring American whiskey, grappa, cigar bitters (which you can make at home!), sugar syrup, Birch juice, Angostura bitters, and orange bitters, and garnished with orange peel and dill.

Ingredients:

  • 50 ml (1 ¾ oz) American whisky
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) grappa
  • 5 ml (1/5 oz) Salts of the Earth cigar bitters 
  • 17.5 ml (¼ oz) sugar syrup
  • 5 ml (1/5 oz) Birch juice
  • 3 drops of Angostura bitters
  • 2 drops of orange bitters
  • Orange peel
  • Dill

Prep (2 weeks ahead):

Add 100 ml (3 ½ oz) of Grappa to 100 ml (3 ½ oz) of base bitters (see recipe below). Add 2 Cuban cigars (your preference) and leave to infuse for at least 2 weeks.

Serve:

Add all the ingredients to a mixing glass with ice. Stir until sufficiently chilled. Single strain into the vintage crystal brandy balloon over chipped ice. Then twist an orange peel over the drink. Garnish with orange peel; dill.

Venison Carpaccio 

Take a venison loin and, with a sharp knife, remove any sinew. Slice the loin into long 5-cm (2-inch) cylinders. Then finely chop a large sprig of dill and sprinkle all over the venison. Season with salt and black pepper. Wrap each piece of meat tightly in cling film (plastic wrap) to make a sausage shape, then twist the ends of the cling film to tighten the roll. Put the venison in a fridge to firm up. After 1 hour remove the meat from the fridge to be sliced for serving.

Using a pestle and mortar, break pistachio nuts into a crumb. Slice the venison thinly with a sharp knife. Sprinkle each slice with pistachio crumb and another touch of sea salt and cracked pepper. Pierce 1 slice of venison per drink with a bamboo skewer then garnish the top of the drink.

Base Bitter Recipe 

This recipe below can be the base from which to launch your bitters.

  • 400 ml (14 fl oz) base overproof spirit
  • Dried zests/peels of 6 lemons, 6 limes, 6 oranges, 4 pink grapefruits
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 10 pink peppercorns
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried gentian root
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried orris root
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried dandelion root
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried burdock root
  • 1 heaped teaspoon dried angelica root
  • 20 ml (½ oz) sugar syrup

Add all the ingredients to a 1 liter (35 oz) swingtop jar. Pour your chosen base overproof spirit into the jar. Leave to rest for 4–6 weeks, shaking every week. Fine strain through a muslin and decant into dropper or bitter bottles.

Aver Zombie & Bitch

Doctors Orders_Aver Zombie & Bitch

Now, this monstrous potion, you gotta watch out for! It’s actually against doctor’s orders, as it can act like a truth serum, all while increasing your energy levels thanks to the high dose of vitamins C, B1 and B6, manganese, iron, and calcium.

Ingredients:

  • 25 ml (1 oz) white rum
  • 20 ml (¾ oz) golden rum
  • 15 ml (½ oz) dark rum
  • 25 ml (1 oz) passion fruit purée
  • 50 ml (1 ¾ oz) fresh or store bought pineapple juice (not from concentrate)
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 20 ml (¾ oz) grenadine
  • 20 ml (¾ oz) fresh lime juice
  • 10 ml (1/3 oz) pomegranate shrub or strawberry vinegar

Prep (2 days ahead):

If making the shrub, using gloves to avoid stains, deseed/bang out 2 fresh pomegranates into a large Kilner jar. Add 100 ml (3 ½ oz) of grenadine, 200 ml (7 oz) of pomegranate juice and cover with 800 ml (28 oz) of stock shrub (see recipe below) using equal parts red wine vinegar and cider vinegar. Leave for at least 2 days. The shrub will last 3–6 months and makes 40 drinks.

Serve

Add all the ingredients to a shaker filled with ice. Then hard shake and single strain over the ice-filled vintage tankard. Garnish with ½ passion fruit, chargrilled or fresh pineapple, fresh cherry, and fresh mint sprig.

Shrub Recipes

Shrubs are effectively drinking vinegars, and go as far back as the 15th century. They were known as medicinal cordials and were used for preserving or adding acidic notes to soft drinks and punches.

To make a base shrub, any type of vinegar can be used. Choose vinegars based on the flavour you want to achieve: for example, a spiced apple shrub would work best with a cider vinegar, or rice wine vinegar would work well for a miso or soy shrub. Most of the shrubs used in this book use equal parts vinegar and syrup, but playing around with the ratios brings fun results should you desire a sharper, more tart shrub or a sweeter one.

The resting times given for shrubs in these recipes are the minimums. The key is to remove any fruit or herb that will change the colour if left in too long (e.g. fresh mint). Then, you can leave to age for as long as you desire.

White Whine Vinegar Base Shrub

  • 400 ml (14 oz) white wine vinegar
  • 400 ml (14 oz) sugar syrup

Cider Vinegar Base Shrub 

  • 400 ml (14 oz) cider vinegar
  • 400 ml (14 oz) sugar syrup

Multiply or divide the ingredients based on how many batches you would like to make. The amounts of shrub that go in any drink will obviously affect the taste greatly so also have a play around at the actual cocktail making stage.

RESTORE/RECTIFY

Tiger’s Milk

Doctors Orders_Tigers Milk

Sometimes, you just need a hydrating refreshment that will help with digestion, and what better than this ‘ceviche in a drink’, filled with vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium? It doesn’t get fresher than this.

Ingredients

  • 50 ml (2 oz) pisco
  • 30 ml (1 oz) pink grapefruit juice
  • 25 ml (1 oz) fresh lime juice
  • 100 ml (3 ½ oz) clarified tomato juice or a good quality tomato juice
  • ¼ red chilli, finely chopped
  • Large pinch sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 drops celery bitters 
  • 2 large pinches coriander (cilantro), 1 for garnish
  • 1 thumb finely chopped ginger (¾ inside the drink ¼ for garnish)

Prep:

If making fresh tomato juice, using a juice extractor, juice 5 kg (11 lb) tomatoes. Add 100 ml (3 ½ oz) of lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain through a muslin and store the juice in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Serve:

Add all the ingredients except the coriander and ginger to a shaker filled with ice and rock the mix (do not shake). Pour to a highball, with the ice. Add 1 large pinch of coriander and ¾ of the finely chopped ginger to the glass and disperse evenly. Top with ice if needed. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) cress or ordinary coriander, fresh ginger, and fresh mint sprig.