I hesitate to qualify any drink with less than three ingredients (excluding the garnish) a “cocktail” but there’s still something appealing about the simplicity of Moet-Hennessy ambassador Mick Formosa’s concoctions at Park Hyatt’s recent Melbourne Food & Wine Festival event ‘Crisp Cocktails & Fresh Cuisine’. Served up alongside a seafood-heavy menu by the hotel’s executive chef Dane Clouston, Mick’s drinks – including spiked, fresh-pressed, granny smith apple juice and shots poured into coconut husks (putting one in an instant holiday frame of mind) – are inspired by international trends he has seen emerging and the festival’s “something new” concept. “It’s a bit of a trend that’s happening throughout the US and the UK people are looking for healthy options with no sugar, sugar is evil at the moment”, explains Mick. “We’re seeing a lot of kale martinis and carrotinis and fresh ingredients like beetroot”.
While alcohol certainly isn’t embraced by the current fad for “clean” eating, vodka – at least for me personally – is the spirit least likely to leave after-effects. So maybe this style of sipping is one way of having your cake eat it too? Mick suggests trying out the trend at New Gold Mountain “they have a drink that uses snow peas called ‘give peas a chance'”. I say look to Union Electric for the most basic incarnation of the movement with their “Them Apples” menu of fresh-squeezed juice and lemon over your choice of poison.
Or try the drink below at home. It may just replace Bloody Marys, Bellinis and Mimosas at your next lower calorie, lower carbohydrate brunch.
Crisp Carrot Cocktail
A bunch of carrots (organic is best)
Fresh ginger, to taste
Vodka (we used Belevedere)
Carrot tops or herbs for garnish
Juice carrots and ginger. Fill a tall glass or jar with ice. Add a shot or two of vodka. Top with juice and stir. Garnish with leftover leafy carrot tops.