kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


"Healthy" cocktails

kalamansi I'm currently researching DC bars that have "healthy" cocktails on the menu for an upcoming article. While that may sound like an overt oxymoron, and I'm not proclaiming that you eschew your post-workout protein smoothie for a Pisco Sour, you can put healthy ingredients into the shaker (along with your favorite booze, bitters, liqueur, etc.) and render something good for you (relatively speaking...) Case in point: the food and beverage media can't seem to get enough of ingredients like acai, pomegranate, blueberries and coconut water. I happen to love all that stuff (especially the coconut water...,) so this is one cocktail bandwagon I'll happily jump on.

Over at Art & Soul in DC, General Manager and Beverage Manager Jay Poblador has a drink on the menu that includes kalamansi juice. Ok, I love all citrus, and have been digging the fact that yuzu makes it onto many a cocktail menu, but the existence of this fruit stumped me. Luckily Poblador explained. “The kalamansi is a fruit indigenous to Southeast Asia, especially the Philippines. It is an orange-like citrus fruit that is very high in antioxidants, very rich in vitamin C and is great for building up the immune system. In France it is often used in pastries but I thought it would be great in a cocktail."

Hmmm, sounds like something work seeking out. A little research online taught me that this small fruit is a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, with some kumquat thrown in. Look for it at Asian supermarkets near you. If you absolutely can't find it, substitute a half and half mixture of fresh lemon and orange juices (ideally, Mandarin or tangerine.) Head to Art & Soul to try it, or mix it up yourself:

The Capitol Courtesy of Jay Poblador, Art & Soul, Washington, DC

2 oz. vodka 3/4 oz. lavender honey 1/4 oz. fresh kalamansi juice 1/4 oz. orange liqueur (Combier or Cointreau)

Shake well with ice, and serve up in a chilled martini glass with a brown sugar rim.