Tis the season for overindulgence, but whether you're the designated driver, a nondrinker or simply mindful of getting too tipsy at a work function, this custom virgin cocktail by bartender Turk Dietrich of Cure (4905 Freret St., 302-2357; www.curenola.com) keeps the celebratory spirit intact while foregoing the actual spirits. It also packs a nutritional punch, with an ounce of lemon juice delivering vitamins C and B and trace amounts of potassium. Sage infuses the cocktail with flavor and is high in vitamins C, E and K, and the ginger in ginger beer eases indigestion.
Healthy cocktails are a natural fit for Cure, which co-owners Matthew Kohnke and Neal Bodenheimer originally envisioned as a "constructive space" fit for professional or social gatherings. The nonsmoking bar is situated underneath a yoga studio and regularly hosts community events like coat drives and blogger meet-ups. "We really wanted to make a positive change and do a very constructive space," Bodenheimer says. "How else could we put a yoga studio above our bar?"
The Fifth Column
• 4 sage leaves
• 1 cucumber slice (about 1/4 inch thick)
• 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
• 1.5 oz. homemade simple syrup*
• 3 oz. soda water
• ginger beer (enough to top off the drink)
Muddle the cucumber in a shaker tin. Add four sage leaves and very lightly muddle for just a few seconds. Add lemon juice, simple syrup and ice. Shake hard for five seconds. Double strain the ingredients into a Collins glass filled with ice. Add three ounces of soda and top with ginger beer. Garnish rim of glass with a cucumber slice.
• Homemade simple syrup
• 1 cup granulated cane sugar
• 1 cup water
Stir or shake ingredients until the sugar is completely diluted.