Cold-pressed juice + luxury vodka = my dream DetoxRetox cocktails! But do they actually taste any good?
Detox Retox: Belvedere Vodka and Imbibery have created two DIY cold-pressed cocktails. We put them to the taste test… (pc: Instagram/Ms_ToniJones)
It’s important to drink responsibly.
And by that I mean caring about the ingredients that go into your cocktails, not worrying about getting the last tube home.
The DetoxRetox philosophy is all about offsetting any bad behaviour by squeezing in as much goodness as you can the rest of the time. And it’s a shame to treat your body like a temple from morning until 5pm only to pour sugar, additives and all kinds of other artificial nasties down your throat the moment that happy hour starts.
If you drink quality spirits (and you really should) then any hangovers are more likely to be a result of spending the night before riding a sugar high from the mixers used in your drinks than the booze itself.
Want to get loaded without a hangover? We should all be drinking neat, premium booze with no nasties. But in my experience ordering straight vodka at the local is generally frowned upon. And besides, cocktails are fun and fabulous and taste delicious, and that is why we love them.
The good news is that it IS possible to drink cocktails without obliterating your clean-living efforts.
Belvedere Vodka is one drinks company actively seeking out smarter ways to drink. As a Polish brand their vodka product is one of the purest on the market, and they are spending a lot of time and money researching low-sugar drink options as well as educating the industry on alternative choices at the bar.
And what could be healthier than a fresh juice? Cold-pressed cocktails have been a ‘thing’ for a while now in some of the city’s trendier bars, where they combine fruit and vegetable juices with bitters and spirits to create (almost) guilt-free concoctions.
And now Belvedere has partnered with hip London juice company Imbibery to create two flavours that are designed to work on their own (they have to say that) but to taste even better with a large slug of chilled vodka at the end of the day.
Drinking your greens (and reds): Hail Mary and Greenacolada both contain vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and have been designed to be shaken with vodka
Greenacolada is a Kermit-coloured mix of pineapple, coconut water and spinach, while Hail Mary is a fiery combo of tomato, beetroot, lemon, cucumber and cayenne pepper. Both drinks are packed full of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, and make a regular old cranberry juice seem like a very sad last resort.
Claire-Smith Warner, who has possibly the world’s best job as Head of Spirit Creation at Belvedere, and is spearheading the company’s ‘”drink better, live better” activity says: ‘Great drinks don’t have to just be about how much alcohol they contain, but should be judged by how delicious they are. Today we are aware of the harmful effects of overindulgence from not just alcohol but from sugar and artificial flavours. There are ways to drink “better”, when armed with just a little bit of knowledge and access to a greater selection of superior mixers.’
But do these cold-pressed cocktails actually taste any good?
Despite my penchant for daytime drinking I did manage to hold off and try this tipple in the evening, because I really wanted to know what drinking chilled spinach at night would feel like. I poured myself a large one ahead of my courgetti dinner (living the Monday night dream) and another one to have with my tomato-covered spirals.
Of course I felt much more virtuous than if I had succumbed to a glass of Pinot, and still got a nice buzz, but although the pineapple gave it a bit of sweetness it definitely didn’t feel like a treat the way a glass of wine, or an ice cold beer after work often does. In fact, it felt like a rather sad way to get drunk. Yes, it’s full of good stuff and does the trick, but there’s really nothing fun about a green juice, even when served in a coupe and loaded with vodka.
THE HAIL MARY
Another completely savoury flavour, but this juice worked much better with the vodka, creating a blinding bloody mary that I would love to serve friends the morning after the night before or even the night before the morning after.
It’s peppery and intense and I could definitely taste the Belvedere (I mixed both drinks as four parts juice to one part vodka, over ice) which makes the spirit it is served with extra important. Watch out for veg breath – possibly even more offensive than stale champagne breath? – if you’re having more than one. But juice mouth aside, this is a winning combination for cocktail fans. And, crucially, left no hangover the next day.
- Both juices are available online for nationwide shipping at www.imbiberylondon.com priced at £6 for 250ml £6 and £12 for 500ml
- Imbibery uses special high pressure processing technology for this line, meaning each bottle has a shelf life of 1 month
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