Happy 2011 from Cocktail Buzz!!!!!

(Sorry, are we being too loud?)

by Paul Zablocki and Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz

The Season of Good Cheer has come to an end. You overdid it? Welcome to the club, Sister Maria. Perhaps you'd like to take things a bit slower as 2011 starts to come a little more sharply into focus. The hills may no longer be alive with the sound of Santajesusdreidel music, but don't let that stop you from enjoying something tasty to imbibe.

The following recipe is for you, dear reader, if :

  1. You are tired of sipping Holiday punches, throwing back Chocopeppermint shots, or toasting with Herehaveanother champagne cocktails.
  2. Your New Years resolution involves the word "healthy" or a variant of the word, as in "I will try to be healthier and not eat 200 gingerbread cookies washed down with Martha Stewart's eggnog in the span of a week." (It may be a record, but now you're regretting it.)
  3. You like fresh citrus juices and would like to clear your head for a spell.
  4. You want something that'll taste good with brunch, but won't give you a hangover by dinnertime.
The Cocktail Buzz Mocktail
  • 1 1/2 ounces cranberry juice (with no sugar added)
  • 1/2 ounce orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce pink grapefruit juice
  • 1/4 ounce agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger and its juice
  • 1 1/2 ounces ginger ale
  • orange wedge, as garnish

Shake first five ingredients in ice for 15 seconds. Double-strain into a rocks-filled glass. Top with ginger ale. Add garnish.

Note: If using cranberry juice with sugar added, leave out the agave.

If you are having a health-seekers party and would like to pre-batch your Mocktails, you can make a pitcher of them by simply performing a little math and adding some tap:

  • 30 oz. cranberry juice (with no sugar added)
  • 10 oz. orange juice
  • 10 oz. pink grapefruit juice
  • 5 oz. agave nectar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. grated ginger and its juice
  • 7 1/2 oz. water

Add ingredients to an empty 64-ounce fruit juice bottle, shake, and chill until ready to serve. (If you are serving your guests, you can keep the bottle in the refrigerator. If you'd like the guests to serve themselves, and you don't want them messing with your fridge, keep the pitcher in a bucket of ice wherever you decide to create your bar area. See "Also Note," below.)

Then do the following per drink:

Fill a rocks glass halfway with ice. Shake the bottle containing the Mocktail vigorously for a few seconds. Strain 4 1/2 ounces into the glass. Top with 1 1/2 ounces ginger ale. Garnish with orange wedge.

Note: If using cranberry juice with sugar added, leave out the agave.

Also Note: You will be considered a perfect host if you place a measuring cup by the bottle on ice and write out on an index card the instructions for your guests. Feel free to embellish with colorful stickers or hand-drawn adornments.

For more recipes, and for cocktail-party food pairings, visit us at CocktailBuzz.com.

Photo (c) Steve Schul, Cocktail Buzz