Drink to Your Health

Fall-inspired mocktails deliver nutrients one sip at a time

At PEMBROKE'S RESTAURANT Pembroke’s Restaurant, DEBORA JACOBS has been mulling over purple sweet potatoes and chocolate bitters, looking for ingredients for her fall menu.

Employing the same farm-to-table attention Pembroke’s chefs use, Jacobs, the restaurant’s bar manager, gets as excited about incorporating pumpkin and cranberries in a cocktail glass as on a serving plate.

“I think it’s fun to add local, fresh ingredients to drinks. It demands so much creativity and allows you to see produce in a whole new light,” she says.

Jacobs shares her picks for some that take advantage of regional ingredients. Festive enough for holiday soirees and healthy enough to be guilt-free, these drinks pack a nutritional punch.

 

PERFECT PEAR

Pears are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Pomegranates are also rich in vitamins – especially vitamin C – and minerals.

One large Bartlett pear, juiced

¼ tsp. orange extract

½ cup pure pomegranate juice

DIRECTIONS: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain over fresh ice into two glasses. Top each drink with 1/8 cup ginger kombucha tea*. Garnish with an orange twist. For added kick: Try it with 1½ ounce of high-quality, smooth vodka per glass. *Ginger kombucha tea can be found pre-made in the produce section of the grocery store.

 

THE LEAF PEEPER

Ginger lays claim to many medical benefits, including appetite stimulation, nausea relief, clearing sinuses, helping congestion, and even – so it’s been said – an aphrodisiac. Cranberries, high in vitamins and minerals, are potent antioxidants.

½ tsp. freshly juiced ginger root

1⁄8 cup pure cranberry juice

DIRECTIONS: Shake ingredients with ice. Strain into champagne flute. Top with sparkling cider. Garnish with speared cranberries. For added kick: Try it with Prosecco instead of sparkling cider.

 

THE ORCHARD

Researchers have tied apples to heart health, lowering levels of “bad” cholesterol among women who ate an apple a day, according to one study from Florida State University.

2 medium Granny Smith apples, juiced

½ cup almond milk

¼ tsp. vanilla extract

¼ tsp. cinnamon powder

½ Tbsp. maple syrup

¼ tsp. ground allspice

DIRECTIONS: Shake with ice. Strain into two martini glasses. Garnish with fresh apple slice. For added kick: Try it with 1½ ounce per drink of your favorite spiced rum.

 

SWEETIE PIE

(Jacobs developed a version of this one for Pembroke’s.) Sweet potatoes are both low calorie and nutrient dense. It’s one of nature’s most flavorful ways to stock up on vitamins and minerals during the winter months.

½ large sweet potato, cooked*

1⁄8 tsp. vanilla extract

½ tsp. cinnamon powder

¼ tsp. nutmeg powder

1 cup pressed coconut juice

½ cup almond milk

¼ cup water

Pinch of salt

DIRECTIONS: Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth and creamy. Shake with ice. Strain into two wine glasses. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream (homemade is best). For added kick: Try it with 1½ ounce rye whiskey per drink.

*Bake sweet potato until soft in the center, then allow to cool before mixing drink.

 

All drink recipes by Debra Jacobs, Pembroke’s Restaurant, 1125-A Military Cutoff Road in The Forum.

To view more of photographer Chris Brehmer's work, go to www.chrisbrehmerphotography.com