Dancing With The Devil


Can cocktails ever be healthy? Not really, but many restaurants are making them better for you

We can have it all—at least that’s what most of us believe these days.

So drinking an indulgent cocktail that is also healthy is something that consumers are coming to expect.

Many restaurants are jumping into the low-calorie trend, offering skinny cocktails. At the same time, others are doing the opposite: Instead of taking something out of their drinks (the calories), they’re putting ingredients in, making sure cocktails are good not only for the mind, but also better for the body.

Tini Bigs Juicer Cocktail

For the ultimate in both indulgence and health, there’s Tini Bigs. In February, this Seattle restaurant started to juice its own fruits and vegetables to put them into drinks.

The juices are used in three ways: served straight up for a nonalcoholic boost; mixed with the spirit of the customer’s choice and served on the rocks; and made into a daily juicer cocktail that the bartender creates.

Every day the juices change, but so far blends have included celery-carrot-ginger and carrot-lemon-apple. Nothing yet has been poorly received, says general manager Joe Zara, though he admits that “it’s going to take a while for people to venture out with something like beets or spinach.”

The number of orders for these drinks varies depending on the juice, “but I would say average, they are one out of every seven cocktails ordered,” Zara says.

The cocktails are pretty complex. One combined bourbon, Ramazzotti Amaro, old-fashioned bitters and carrot-lemon-apple juice; another included gin and Benedictine with celery-ginger-carrot juice.

There’s no sugar in the cocktails since there’s so much natural sugar in the produce. They’re not incredibly strong, Zara says, “so they’re not too sweet and the cocktails are very juice-forward.”

Costs for the drinks are $10 for a mixed drink; $11 for a cocktail; $7 for a juice. Costs on the juicer cocktails range from 22 to 25 percent, and it’s less when the juice is mixed with a spirit, Zara says, ranging from 18 to 22 percent. “The liquor is less adventurous in these cocktails, so [they’re] cheaper,” he adds.


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