Welcome to the first cocktail week on Fake Food Free. This week I’m recapping some of the excellent cocktail mixers I discovered at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco in January. This is post one of three.
I gave up my beloved diet soda about five years ago (I used to drink 3 cans a day!). It was a big step in cutting artificial sweeteners out of my diet and one of the best decisions I’ve made.
While I can’t even think about drinking a diet soda these days, there is something I still crave often. The carbonation. We make our own club soda all the time, but I’m always on the lookout for flavored carbonated waters without any sweeteners. Especially when we need something for a road trip or when we make cocktails at home.
Let me introduce you to my new favorite find — Ayala’s Herbal Water®. I was thrilled to discover this product at the Fancy Food Show last month. Ayala’s Herbal Water® is water infused with organic herbal extracts. It has no sugar, no sweeteners and no preservatives. It also comes in both still and sparkling varieties.
The flavor combinations are anything but boring, but I thought me simply showing you water in a post might be. So I decided a couple cocktails were in order. The sparkling varieties are perfect for cocktails.
I had four sparkling flavors to try — Lemongrass Mint Vanilla, Cinnamon Orange Peel, Ginger Lemon Peel and Lavender Mint. There were none that I disliked, but my favorite surprised me. It was the Lemongrass Mint Vanilla and typically I’m not a huge mint fan. I really enjoyed how the vanilla flavor came through with this one and the mint was balanced by both that and the lemongrass.
None of the flavors need much to be turned into a great cocktail, especially since the refreshing flavor of the water should come through. I decided to use the Lemongrass Mint Vanilla and the Ginger Lemon Peel. A great choice. (P.S. The Lavender Mint is great with gin and the Cinnamon Orange Peel goes well with dark rum.)
Both of these drinks are perfect for spring, which is already arriving here in California. Proof is in all the gorgeous mint that I picked out of our herb garden. I hope spring makes it your way soon!
Lemongrass Mint Vanilla Cooler
Makes: 1 drink
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. dark rum
3 oz. Lemon Grass Mint Vanilla Ayala’s Herbal Water®
Add the vodka and rum to a lowball glass and stir. Add the water. Add ice to fill the glass.
Garnish with a mint sprig and serve.
Ginger Lemon Bourbon and Brandy
Makes: 1 drink
1 oz. Kentucky bourbon
.5 oz. brandy
½ tsp honey
3 oz. Ginger Lemon Peel Ayala’s Herbal Water®
Lemon slice for garnish
Add the bourbon, brandy and honey to a small cocktail shaker. Stir well to dissolve the honey.
Pour into a lowball glass. Add the water. Add ice to fill the glass.
Garnish with a lemon slice and serve.
Disclosure: This product was sent to me for review purposes. I was not required to post about it and received no compensation for doing so.