“Have boozy juice box, will travel.” That’s my motto this week as spring break takes me to sunny Mexico. This inventive drink — a perfect hot-weather, tote-along pool companion — comes to us courtesy of the Hotel Arts Group, where I sampled it during Calgary’s Big Taste event at a cocktail dinner hosted by Raw Bar.
This adults-only take on a refreshing juice box features white wine, roasted pineapple and bitters. Chugalug!
Boozy Juice Box is basically a wine cooler made with roasted pineapple- and bitters-infused white wine. The pineapple complements the Pinot Grigio, adding a smoky sweetness, and the bitters give the drink a spicy complexity. At first sip I thought there was more to it than the recipe revealed. The good news is since it’s so simple, it would be a snap to make a large batch for a summer garden party… figuring out the delivery method (a bunch of juice boxes and straws) would be the hard part!
Boozy Juice Box
- 2 slices grilled pineapple
- 6 oz Noble Ridge Pinot Grigio
- 4 dashes Bittermans Boston Bitters
- Honey to taste
Combine ingredients and marinate overnight in the fridge. Strain into a plastic pouch, add a straw and tote along to the beach or enjoy poolside.
— Recipe courtesy Raw Bar at Hotel Arts
I’ve always loved the cocktails at Raw Bar at Hotel Arts in Calgary. They’re a nice mix between classic and craft; some are tall and creative, others are short and spirit-forward. So I jumped at the chance to visit the newly renovated space and sample both the Raw Bar’s new VietModern menu and cocktails by talented bartender Christina Mah, during a TMAC Alberta mix and mingle event last week.
As a bonus, I got to step up to the bar and shake my very own Ramos Gin Fizz, a New Orleans cocktail that adds orange blossom water and milk to a traditional gin fizz. The milk makes the drink somewhat frothier and smoother than a typical fizz, and the orange blossom water is a lovely — and fragrant — touch. To make the cocktail more in line with Raw Bar’s modern Vietnamese menu, Mah swapped regular simple syrup for honey syrup and passed over chicken eggs in favour of a duck egg white. The result is a very good cocktail that you’ll sip down almost as fast as you’ll gobble down all the VietModern goodies, from sablefish bites to grilled octopus to potato spring rolls. It’s all good. #Omyomyom!
Hotel Arts has switched up this classic New Orleans cocktail by using a duck egg white and honey syrup to be more in line with its new VietModern menu.
Ramos Gin Fizz
- 1 oz gin
- 3/4 oz milk
- 1/2 of a duck egg white (duck eggs are available at Crossroads Market)
- 1/2 oz lime juice
- 1-1/2 oz honey simple syrup (dissolve honey into water using a 1:1 ratio)
- Dash orange blossom water (available at speciality food stores or Kalamata Grocery on 11th Ave. S.W.)
- Top soda water
- Orange wheel garnish
Into a Boston shaker put all ingredients except the soda. Dry shake, add ice and then shake again. Strain mixture into an ice-filled Collins glass and top with soda water.
— Recipe courtesy Christina Mah, Raw Bar at Hotel Arts