Variety is the spice of life, and a variety of items, including fruits, spices and so much more can be added
to drinks for a more enhanced, balanced flavor.
We all know about your typical strawberry garnishing a strawberry daiquiri and coconut or pineapple
garnishing a pina colada, but have you ever considered grilling pineapple or lemon for a great infusion
for any number of fruit drinks? Grilling steps up the flavor of fruit by adding a slightly smoky flavor and
more sweetness through the caramelization process.
There is also your traditional mint julep, comprised mainly of bourbon and mint and your bourbon old
fashioned completed with muddled orange, maraschino cherries and bitters. Pearl onions or olives can
be added to martinis, but now there are martinis in all flavors including chocolate – yum! There are even
chocolate bitters which could add a kick to any number of cocktail choices.
Spices and herbs can also add some flair to your tonics. Cinnamon is a wonderful example…tasty in rum
chata, great in hot buttered rum or combined with nutmeg for an apple pie martini. Let’s go a little
farther off the grid now. Believe it or not, lavender adds a wonderful, light botanical flavor to certain
drinks. A rosemary sprig is an excellent complement to grapefruit and gin, muddled with lemon in a
spritzy gin fizz or infused with simple syrup and added to all sorts of drinks. Basil combines well in
certain cocktails with the flavors or lemon, lime, mint or tomato. Ever try a saffron-mango mojita or
saffron vodka martini? You should!
Okay, now let’s get to the juicy part. Red beet juice can help to create a delicious beet sangria, or try a
“beetnik” – a vodka or tequila-based and beet juice and ginger drink. Sriracha sauce has become very
popular in a number of culinary creations, and it is a great replacement for tobasco in a bloody mary as