Monday, June 04, 2018

Sparkling Ice Cocktails

When offered the choice between sparkling or still water in restaurants, I take still every time. Unflavored carbonated water isn't my thing, but I do like sparkling flavored beverages, as long as they are somewhat sweet. I always keep a bottle of what I call "fizzy water" on hand, mostly to dilute my orange or grapefruit juice. While I'd love to guzzle a big glass of juice every morning, 8 fl oz of OJ has about 111 calories, which are probably better used on an egg and half a slice of toast. Instead, I pour about 2 ounces of juice (with pulp!) in my glass and add a few ounces of no-calorie lime fizzy water. I'm so used to drinking it that way that straight-up juice doesn't seem quite right.

In addition to saving a few calories on juice, I like to use my water to top off a glass of booze, especially in the warmer months when I don't want as much alcohol in a drink as I might in the winter. I'll take a Manhattan in January, but in June I'd rather sip on a spritzer. And while my usual generic grocery store brand fizzy water is ok for such applications, I have discovered that Sparkling Ice is even better. It's flavored with actual fruit juice, so it tastes better than the stuff I used to use,  and contains vitamins and antioxidants in the form of green tea extract. Sparkling Ice is sweetened with Sucralose, which means it has sweetness but zero calories.

Sparkling Ice comes in 16 flavors. The Lemon Lime is my favorite, because it's the most neutral and versatile (IMHO), but I'm also fond of the Pink Grapefruit, Ginger Lime, and Coconut Pineapple. Combine any of those flavors with a little white rum and a lime wedge and voila! Instant cocktail! But you could also add fruit juices and fancier garnishes and make perfect party drinks, like the ones featured below.
Tropical Flower Punch

1 cup of coconut rum
1 cup of mango juice
2 cups of orange juice
¼ cup of grenadine
2 cups Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple
Edible flowers, for garnish

In a large punch bowl, combine the coconut rum, mango juice, grenadine, Sparkling Ice Coconut Pineapple and stir. Fill glasses with ice and ladle in the punch, garnish with edible flowers serve.

Citrus Punch

2 cups vodka
½ cup lime juice
3 cups pineapple juice
2 bottles Sparkling Ice Orange Mango
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 orange, sliced
1 blood orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
Pineapple slices

Pour the vodka, lime juice, pineapple juice, Sparkling Ice Orange Mango, and nutmeg in a large punch bowl. Toss in orange, blood orange, lemon slices and stir. Fill glasses with a ladle, garnish with fresh pineapple.

Pretty much any combination of liqueurs, juices, and Sparkling Ice would make a fine summer sipper. Try Deep Eddy Cranberry Vodka with the Ginger Lime, your favorite Sweet Tea flavored vodka with Classic Lemonade, or anything else you can dream up!

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

Posted on