It’s not very often that you have a resident mixologist at your beck and call for an entire week. And it’s not often that the resident mixologist is your cousin. To be honest, it’s not that often that I even see my cousin. Carla lives in Washington D.C. and I rarely pass through that part of the country, especially now that I’m an ocean away. Luckily we were all able to make it to my uncle’s house in Florida, at the same time, for the holidays.
Whereas most of us worry about packing shampoo or perfume in our carry-ons, Carla made it her priority to bring her cocktail bar’s house-made grenadine and apple jack whiskey, pass them through security and arrive safe and sound in warm weather. And thank goodness.
Upon landing, Carla scooted off to the local liquor store and bought all that was needed for a cocktail bar that would have made Don Draper jealous. Needless to say Happy Hour – which is a staple during our family vacations – started early that evening. Carla was mixing Mint Juleps, Martinis, Moscow Mules and Gin Fizzes for the masses.
I’d always wanted to try a kale cocktail, especially since reading about this kale drink at a NYC bar. While I wanted to try it this past summer, it did not fit into the rest of my Tour du Kale. So my desire to create my own kale cocktail grew stronger. And what better time than when I had my uncle’s organic kale, his juicer and my cousin mixologist? She was up for the task.
After a chorus of oohs and ahhs at the gorgeous green color of the kale juice, the two biggest questions were which spirits and the choice between honey or simple syrup. Cocktail master Carla experimented and we passed around a few varieties as I heard the replies from my family focus group of 10. As the whiskey and gin remedies were gulped down, she spotted the last cold bottle of Veuve Clicquot and my uncle asked if it was really necessary to pop it for this experiment. Carla looked up at us all from the kitchen counter – her stage for the evening – widened her brown eyes as if she was a little girl on the farm again and said, “But daddy… it’s for The Kale Project.”
So whether or not you are doing something festive for Saint Patrick’s Day, here are two green drinks to help you celebrate.
The Coco Plum
1/2 oz of kale juice
1.5 oz gin
Juice of 1/2 key lime
Add either a splash of water or 2 oz of Ginger Beer
3/4 oz kale juice (strained)
1.5 teaspoon of honey
Top with champagne