Whenever holidays approach (especially ones that tend to involve cocktails) it’s easy to lose control. Cinco de Mayo is right there at the top of the list. Cinco De Mayo has not only become a celebration of Mexico’s heritage, but a day to go out and have fun on the town. It is important to not only drink responsibly but to try and drink healthy as well. I’ve stirred up a few luscious libations and tested them out on a few friends willing to help out. Check ‘em out and chill out. And never fear, my pregnant pals (or anyone who isn’t too spirited about spirits), I've included a few delicious drinks for you too!
• 1 magnum bottle cabarnet sauvignon (You can use any red wine, but cab has a nice jammy flavor that’s a great starting point for fruity flavors.)
• ½ cup Splenda simple syrup [*see below] will do (½ cup granulated Splenda, ½ cup water, boiled til Splenda dissolves.)
• 1 cup of flavored vodka (I like peach, Absolut Apeach, but Abolut Ruby Red, Mandarin, Mango or Citron would work too.)
• ½ liter of Sprite zero, but using the full liter couldn’t hurt, it’d just make it bubblier.)
• Fresh squeezed lime juice to taste
• Top off with 50% Less Sugar Tropicana just to make it slightly cloudy
Helpful tip: I kept my fruit separate, wheras some folks toss all of this together. Diced apples (skin on is cool), kept with diced limes and an orange. The citrus will keep the apples from going brown too fast. Guests spoon in the fruit and pour the drink over it. This recipe yields a lot of drink, so it might keep a day or so longer. If you leave fruit in the drink sitting there, the alcohol will absorb in to the fruit, making it ferment and give you a nicer buzz than you intended! Plus, it will also break down and get pretty unsavory.
• 1 ounce Patron
• ½ ounce Cointreu
• Juice of ½ or 1 whole lime (to taste)
• Top off with Sprite Zero
Again, this is too taste. If you like a little fresher lime, go for more juice, if not add more Sprite Zero.
Splenda Simple Syrup
Regular simple syrup is just that ... simple. And the Splenda version is no different in that sense. However, when I tested this out, I found a little goes a long way. For the Sangria, for example, you’ll only need ½ a cup of granulated Splenda and ½ cup water. Simply boil until the Splenda is dissolved and ... ta-da! ... syrup!
A good idea is to make a batch of this in advance. Let it cool and fill a plastic squeeze bottle with it and then set it out at your next cocktail party. Your guests can create their own cocktail concoctions with it.
Also, try throwing in different seasonings while it boils to add to the flavor. Throw a whole stick of thyme in for a fresh flavor or grate some lime or lemon peel in.
Drink and Drive
... as long as you’re sipping on one of these scrumptious, alcohol-free mixers.
Throw a little of the thyme simple syrup in to a tall glass of seltzer, squeeze in some lime and you’ve got a drink so refreshing you’ll be chilled to the bone.
For a fresh take on a smoothie, blend seedless watermelon chunks, basil, lime juice and a little bit of seltzer to give it a nice liquid consistency.
But really, herbs are not only fresh additions for your food but for your drinks too! Play with flavors and spices that will freshen up drinks instead of adding sugary mix-ins to them.