Kale Juice as the Next Cocktail Mixer? (Yes, It’s Happening.)

by in Trends, January 20, 2014

green margarita
In signs that enthusiasm for juicing shows no signs of flagging, it now extends to those who like to indulge in the occasional cocktail. As the New York Times reported last month, hip bars are embracing the world of fresh fruit and vegetable juices — taking the same concoctions people use to re-energize after a workout or up their intake of leafy greens — and adding a shot of vodka, gin or tequila. Besides being pro-produce, health-minded booze buffs, it seems, are also drawn to the idea of mixers that preclude the usual sugary sodas and syrups.

Nutrition experts, not surprisingly, are quick to point out that “juicetails” and “kaletinis” aren’t exactly health food. “It sounds like a good idea to meet your fruit and vegetable quota by throwing some into a cocktail,” says Martica Heaner, PhD, adjunct associate professor of nutrition at Hunter College, CUNY School of Public Health, in New York City. “But the problem is that alcohol actually impairs the absorption of some nutrients.” Not to mention that even regular juices, minus the alcohol, have dietary drawbacks.

But even if the juiced-up juices aren’t a free pass to imbibe, they’re certainly not bad for you (insert the “in moderation” speech here). The cocktails have a fresh deliciousness about them, and the juices are, at the very least, a nutritional step up from Day-Glo margarita mixes and their kin. And if you manage to swallow a few extra nutrients while getting a buzz, well, consider it a bonus.

5 Fresh Juices, 5 Spiked Spin-Offs

green juice

The Original: Super Green Juice
Serious incentive to clear out the crisper, this combo of lettuce, greens, apple and cucumber could also be dubbed “Green Out the Fridge” juice.

The Spiked Spin-Off: Green Margarita (top of page)
If you’re in less of a detox mood than a retox one, add tequila and a splash of Cointreau for a mean green rendition of the margarita.


carrot-orange juice

The Original: Carrot-Orange Juice
With its sunny appearance and equally bright flavor, this juice manages to win over even juice cynics. (Chia seeds optional.)

The Spiked Spin-Off:  Orange You Glad
In the boozy remake, orange liqueur and orange bitters ramp up the citrus flavors. (Maraschino cherry optional.)
orange you glad cocktail



strawberry-apple juice

The Original: Strawberry-Apple Juice
This pink juice is as simple as it is pretty, with just two ingredients: strawberries and apples.

The Spiked Spin-Off:  Gin and Juice
Tricked out with gin, club soda and sprigs of basil,  the drink takes a sophisticated turn and becomes (wait for it) Gin and Juice.

gin and juice



kiwi-watermelon lime juice

The Original: Kiwi-Watermelon Lime Juice
Thanks to kiwi and limes, this juice claims impressive stores of vitamin C. Watermelon adds some sweet balance and provides a nice hue.

The Spiked Spin-Off:  Pink Derby
Come cocktail hour, the fresh fruit juice can be transformed into a bourbon-spiked beauty.

pink derby



beet juice

The Original: Beet-Carrot-Apple Juice
Beets are regulars at juice bars everywhere. Combining them with other produce, like sweet carrot and tart green apple, helps balance the overall flavor.

The Spiked Spin-Off:  Beet Negroni
The traditional Negroni is a mix of gin, Campari and sweet vermouth. Here, the earthy beet blend takes the place of the latter.

beet negroni


Sally Wadyka is a Boulder, Colorado-based journalist who writes about nutrition, health and wellness.

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Comments (7)

  1. [...] Kale Juice as the Next Cocktail Mixer? (Yes, It’s Happening.) Posted on January 20, 2014 by adminshout [...]

  2. [...] But even if the juiced-up juices aren’t a free pass to imbibe, they’re certainly not bad for you (insert …read more [...]

  3. [...] …read more Related PostsKid-Friendly Cranberry Oat Muffins10 Things You Didn’t Know About Rachael Ray25 Holiday Potluck DishesOne-on-One with Sunny Anderson from The KitchenOn the Road: Best Holiday DishesA Dairy-Free Cheese That Everyone Can Love [...]

  4. happyvalleychow says:

    Those are some beautiful looking cocktails. I feel like kale juice is taking over the world by storm, everybody seems to be using it.

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  5. Koby Laffer says:

    Very delicious, looking at the picture I would love to have a glass. Thanks for sharing. @currumbin fish and chips

  6. [...] The Next Cocktail Mixer is…Kale. (Food Network Blog) – Say it ain’t so. Kale has now invaded our salads, our smoothies, and now our cocktails? Where will it end? We should start some kind of petition against such injustice. Give me a ginger ale and call it a day already.  [...]

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