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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Orange Mint Julips--low calorie style!


ORANGE MINT JULIPS (low cal version!)

It was, hands down, the most gorgeous day of the new year in Michigan today! (Well, at least for us here in Grand Haven, Michigan). It was the kind of weather that carries you to the beach, on bike rides, and out to the front stoop with a tasty cocktail. It was 80 degrees with not a cloud in the sky!

I grilled some tasty turkey burgers for dinner and decided to whip up this yummy drink to compliment; an alternative to higher calorie versions I've seen in the past! If you're not into stevia, you could try agave syrup in its place, or honey, cane sugar, or any other sweetener you prefer!

P.S.--easily omit the alcohol for a fresh alcohol-free version!


INGREDIENTS (Serves one):

1 tsp orange zest
1/2 orange, sliced (save one slice for garnish)
5-6 small mint leaves or 2-3 large ones. (My mint came from my herb garden that I shared with readers last week!) Save one leaf for garnish if you like. 
1 shot or fluid oz of whatever clear liquor you prefer--I used vodka, but gin or rum would work as well!
3 stevia packets (or about 1 1/2 tsp of stevia powder according to this serving chart which also helps for sugar substitution should you prefer!), or you could use agave syrup, honey, cane sugar or any other sweetener if you wish!
4-5 ozs boiling water (the heat helps to extract flavor from the orange and mint)
Lots of ice, a bowl, and a strainer 


DIRECTIONS: I first took the orange zest from my orange before slicing. I added this to a glass mixing bowl along with 3-4 slices of orange, the stevia and my mint leaves. I heated boiling water in a tea kettle and added this to the bowl, using a pestle to grind and smash the essence out of the mint and orange. (This simple syrup could also be cooked down and reduced in larger batches to save time. The reduced syrup would be more powerful and could be added to water, but I was really only in the market for a drink or two, so I was simply making on demand!!)  I then strained the mixture.

At that point, I added the syrup to my vodka on ice...and tossed in extra ice as well, to compensate for the heat.

Garnished with a mint leaf and a slice of orange. Voila! Sweet, cool. Enjoy!



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