Cranked Up Cocktails

Skip the pre-made mixes and use fresh fruit to make antioxidant rich summer cocktails.
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It’s no secret that I love a cool cocktail at the end of the day. They call it “happy hour” for a reason. I’m mostly a vodka drinker but I enjoy refreshing libations with rum and tequila too. Check out my rather large selection of concoctions below. Why put cocktails on the Healthy Eats page? Because I’ve added a variety of vitamin- and antioxidant-rich fruits and juices to each signature drink. There’s definitely something for everyone (everyone over 21 that is!).

Pineapple Caipirinha: Combine in a glass: 2 lime wedges (1/2 of a lime) and 2 teaspoons superfine sugar; smash together until sugar dissolves. Fill glass with ice. Add 1-2 ounces cachaca (Brazilian rum) and 4 ounces good-quality pineapple juice. Garnish with lime.

Raspberry-Mandarin Lemonade: Fill a glass with ice. Add 1-2 ounces mandarin-flavored vodka, 4 ounces good-quality lemonade and several fresh or frozen raspberries. Garnish with a lemon or orange slice.

Strawberry Blonde: Fill a glass with ice. Add 1-2 ounces vodka, 4 ounces club soda, a few sliced fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 lemon slice, and 1 lime slice.

Mango Margarita: Sugar the rims of 4 margarita glasses with 2 tablespoons fine or coarse granulated sugar (press rims of glasses into moist towel first, so sugar sticks). Set aside. Combine in a blender: 4 cups ice, 1 cup cubed fresh or frozen mango, 6-ounces frozen limeade concentrate, 6 ounces tequila, and 2 ounces triple sec liqueur; puree until smooth. Pour into sugared glasses and serve.

Bloodytini: Place ice in a shaker glass. Add 1-2 ounces vodka, 4 ounces tomato juice, 1/4 teaspoon horseradish, and a pinch of Old Bay seasoning; shake to blend. Pour into martini glass and garnish with peppers or olives.

Acai-rita: Place ice in a glass. Add 1-2 ounces tequila, 4 ounces acai juice and 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice. Garnish with lime.

Caribbean Coconut Cooldown: Place ice in a glass. Add 1-2 ounces spiced rum, 2 ounces pineapple juice, 2 ounces orange juice, and 2 ounces cream of coconut. Garnish with pineapple.

Robin Miller is a nutritionist, host of Quick Fix Meals, author of “Robin Rescues Dinner” and the busy mom of two active little boys. Her boys and great food are her passion. Check her out at www.robinrescuesdinner.com.

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