If you feel like there’s a finger-wagging angel sitting on one shoulder harping about how you need to eat and drink more vegetables and a devil hanging out on the other beckoning you to indulge in a cocktail instead, maybe the answer is to listen to both of them.
These vegetable-heavy bevvies start with freshly pressed juice, which lends a vibrant hue and glass full of vitamins and antioxidants that even makes having two of them feel nearly guilt-free. You’re welcome.
The green juice used in this drink has been a staple since Las Vegas’ Honey Salt opened. It highlights the New American bistro’s farm-to-table aesthetic and commitment to using regional ingredients, says Elizabeth Blau, the founder and CEO of restaurant planning and development company Blau + Associates. But turning it into a boozy creation makes it way more fun. “We wanted to offer a lighter cocktail option where you can get your nutrients and a buzz in one glass,” she says. “Detox to retox with our Green Tox.”
Every cocktail on the bar menu of Fort Lauderdale restaurant Terra Mare contains a freshly pressed juice. “We wanted to use the natural characteristics of our fruits and vegetables to enhance our cocktails instead of sugars, syrups and other additives,” says general manager Ryan Zemel. For this Margarita riff named for the buxom redhead in the 1988 animated film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” carrots, and their inherent sweetness, pretty much replace sugar.
South African–inspired beef jerky bar Biltong, in Atlanta, uses fresh celery juice and toasted celery seeds to get max vegetal flavor for its Celery Sour. The celery mix is shaken with pineapple-infused gin, cucumber bitters and Greek yogurt, which does the emulsive work of egg whites but adds a tangier kick. “It takes a bit of convincing, because people are thrown off when they see all those ingredients in the same sentence,” says bar manager James Cramer. “But they come together in a way that’s bigger than the sum of its parts.”
“At Pagu, we believe in crafting food, drinks and experiences that are not only delicious and memorable but also feel-good and good for you,” says Tracy Chang, the chef and owner of the Cambridge, Mass., restaurant. “We achieve this by using healthful, whole ingredients, such zucchini water in the Fields of Travel cocktail.” Green Chartreuse liqueur gives herbal sweetness, and sparkling sake makes it fizzy and refreshing.