If you are looking for methods for cutting sugar and calories out of your drinks, cocktail infusion is the way to go. See how to infuse fresh fruit into tequila, and add the flavor of chocolate mint into this low-cal sipper.
We all love a nice cocktail, but sometimes the ingredients add much in the way of extra calories. One of the easiest ways to cut back on sugar, yet maintain killer flavor, is to make cocktail infusions. For this simple cocktail recipe, I’ve chopped up a fresh pineapple and let it marinate in the fridge for a couple of days. Then I made some Caramel Vanilla tea to use as a mixer, which also provides nuances of flavor without the extra calories. OK, I did add a little sugar to the tea, but the most dramatic taste came from the addition of fresh chocolate mint that I had growing in my garden. If you’ve never tried chocolate mint, you would be surprised to discover that it smells exactly like the chocolate mint you might get on your pillow at a fine hotel. It’s super aromatic, yet the taste is a little milder than peppermint.
I demo’d this at a local WeWork, which seems to be the place to be nowadays. The cocktail was well received! Here are the super easy steps for creating this cocktail:
HOW TO CUT A FRESH PINEAPPLE:
1. Cut off top and bottom
2. Cut pineapple in half vertically, then cut the 2 halves in two.
3. Remove the hard core from the center.
4. With a small sharp knife, cut away the thick rind, then chop into bite-size pieces.
MAKE THE PINEAPPLE INFUSION:
1 bottle (750ml) tequila
Pour half the tequila in the empty bottle. Add pineapple to fill both bottles. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days. If serving immediately, let pineapple remain, remove if storing for longer periods.
DAZED + INFUSED
As before mentioned, notes of pineapple, caramel, vanilla, and chocolate mint play around in this low-cal, tasty cocktail. Just remember that the pineapple needs at least two days to infuse its flavor into the tequila. The mint only needs 15 minutes. And definitely start with a good tequila. I used Viva, which I just discovered at a recent tasting, and it is soooo smooth. (see a couple of spicy tequila cocktails at this link, if you enjoy a bit of heat in your sipping)
MAKE THE TEA MIXTURE:
48 oz water
4 teabags Republic of Tea Caramel Vanilla
2 TB Heilala Vanilla Bean Sugar
bunch of chocolate mint, tied in a bouquet
Boil water, steep tea for 5 min. Stir in vanilla sugar. Immerse a bouquet of mint into the tea, let sit for 15 min. Allow to cool. Refrigerate till ready to serve. This makes enough tea for 12 cocktails. (or a lovely tea mix to sip on its own.)
MAKE THE COCKTAIL:
2 oz infused Viva Tequila Joven
4 oz tea mix
Stir together with ice in an old-fashioned glass. Top with fresh garnish.
GARNISH: INGREDIENTS TO CONSIDER
- mini cucumbers
- fresh mint
- fresh lemon verbena
- long bamboo picks
Spear the fresh herbs first, so that they are at the top, then their aromas will come into play while sipping. Then, cut strawberries and cucumbers into thick rings, so that they can be speared horizontally. Separate clementines into individual pieces. Do different assortments.