Real Cocktails: The Martini

Real Cocktails: Perfect Martinis | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #realcocktails #realfood #homebar


When I embarked on my cocktail journey, it was a labor of love.  I was intrigued by the rich history behind the Martini, imagining polished fingers gently cradling elegant martini glasses, conversing in suave cocktail parties in the 40s and 50s.

But the Martini not enjoys a posh status, but a legitimate status as a tried and true drink that has pleased palates for decades.  Martinis are the rare drink that whets appetite, isn’t too sweet, and could even be considered savory.  As far as I’m concerned, it’s the perfect dinner drink. [Read more…]

Real Cocktails: The Perfect Margarita

Real Cocktails: The Perfect Margarita | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

There is nothing quite like drinking a margarita with fresh lime.  Perhaps it’s because I grew up in California, and now I live in Arizona, or perhaps it’s because I have always loved Mexican food, but a margarita might be my favorite drink of all time.

Well, at least today it is.  Or at least, in the summertime that’s usually the case!

A margarita is a simple and delicious as it gets.  All you need on hand are limes, tequila, and homemade orange liqueur.  The orange liqueur takes a little thinking ahead, but I promise you that it is so worth it.  Orange peels steeping in rich Cognac, then sweetened with honey or coconut sugaryum!

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REAL FOOD 101: How to Make Root Beer

Healing Herbal Root Beer | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

Handcrafted root beer is almost a lost art these days, which is a shame.  Complex and layered, these earthy flavors combine with whey to create a naturally fizzy drink that is good for your well-being and your gut.  Homemade root beers are probiotic by nature, and have been revered for their beneficial powers for centuries. (source)

Fermenting your own drinks is a wonderful way to incorporate good bacteria into your diet.  Plus, kids love it.  They love to help make it, and they love to help drink it when it’s done.  What’s not to love about homemade soda?!  Root beer has always been my favorite, and now I feel quite justified in preferring it above all else!

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Drink of the Week: Bourbon Sweet Tea Cocktail (GAPS)

Bourbon Sweet Tea Cocktail (GAPS-friendly) | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS

This cocktail is a lot of fun to make, because you can use your favorite green, black, or white tea and the flavors are excellent and clean.  But you can also make funky teas like rooibos, herbals, and even chai for an interesting and ever-changing twist on a simple cocktail. [Read more…]

Drink of the Week: The Perfect Cosmopolitan

How to Make the Perfect Cosmopolitan | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #cocktails #homemade #DIY #homebar #realcocktails


Whether you found your first cosmopolitan as a result of a certain TV show set in New York City, or you have been a fan since before they came into vogue, this pink drink is all it’s cracked up to be.  Cosmos are one of the most drinkable cocktails around, and the flavors are simple and clean.

But if you order a Cosmopolitan at a bar or restaurant, chances are the ingredients are not the cleanest around.  Alcohol manufacturers are not required to label added dyes and flavors, so you can never be sure that you are drinking something without a little extra “something” that doesn’t qualify as real food at all!

Good thing I have figured out how to make clean cocktails, huh?  Yep! [Read more…]

Real Cocktails: Mojitos

homemade mojito

Mojitos are light and refreshing: bright lime and mint mixed with homemade bitters, mineral water, and light rum.  And all lightly sweetened with homemade honey syrup, a real food mojito is hardly something to consider

Every year when it heats up I want to have a mojito.  Or any time I get my hands on some mineral water.  Or mint.  Okay, fine, I just really want a mojito pretty much any time I can manage it!  (After all, I wrote the book on real cocktails, and it’s time to shake one up!)

So if you have a patch of mint growing in your backyard, grab a handful and let’s get cracking! [Read more…]

The Naughty Nutritionist: Drunk on Veganism

This is a guest post from Dr. Kaayla Daniel, the Naughty Nutritionist.

old-fashioned with homemade aromatic bitters

A bar that serves only vegan drinks is doing a brisk business in a former coffin factory in Brooklyn.

It’s called the Pine Box Rock Shop, and it serves hardcore vegans who’d rather die than eat or drink animal products as well as throngs of food faddists who think veganism rocks.

Indeed vegan bars are sprouting up all over, and include the Bye and Bye in Portland, the Highline in Seattle and many others.   They are good news indeed for vegans who wish to get plastered without having to interrogate bartenders about every ingredient or worry about deadly animal products lurking in their alcoholic beverages.

It would seem that the animal products would be as obvious as the good stuff in Bailey’s Irish Cream.  But that’s not always the case.   Traditionally brewmasters, winemakers and distillers have used animal ingredients for binding, filtering, fining, filtering and other processing steps.  These ingredients might include bone meal, gelatin, isinglass (from fish bladder) and egg whites, among other things not likely to show up on labels.    Nothing wrong with that.  It’s honoring the entire animal and part of nose to tail eating, or, in this case, nose to tail drinking.

What’s different at vegan bars?  No sloe gins or schnapps colored with carmine dyes from the eggs or shells of cochineal beetles.   Agave nectar or regular sugar substituting for honey in sweetened mixed drinks.   White Russians soy-led with soy milk, Bloody Marys with A1 steak sauce instead of anchovie-containing Worcestershire, and rum cokes made with a brand of cola whose caramel coloring comes from corn and not carmine.   Apparently Royal Crown meets that criterion.

Why else choose a vegan bar?   To pick up vegansexuals, of course.  For those who missed the Fox News headlines back in 2007, vegansexuals perceive the bodies of meat­eaters as “graveyards for animals” and choose not to be intimate with anyone whose “body is literally made up of the bodies of animals who have died for their sustenance.”

As for the rest of us, beware that a vegan bar may have come to a neighborhood near you.

If you go out, make sure your favorite drinks have not been soy’led or nectared and take care not to hook up with vegans —  whose bodies could be described as “rotting compost piles of fruits and vegetables.”

Better yet, stay in!  Why settle for bar fare when you can easily make your own drinks at home with stellar ingredients such as raw whipped cream, free-range eggs, truly raw honey, and organic and fair trade coffee?  Why not try primo homemade ingredients such as maraschino cherries, pickled cocktail onions, lacto-fermented hot sauce, kefir water or ginger beer?

Whether your taste runs to Egg Nog or Faux Nog, Oyster Shooters or Liver Shooters, Perfect Martinis or Dirty Martinis, cocktails taste better and are better with real food ingredients.  Don’t know how?  Turn to Natural Cocktails, the manual that helps real foodies become real drinkies.

Bitters & Soda: A Traditional Digestif

Bitters and Soda: A Traditional Digestif | OUR NOURISHING ROOTS #bitters #cocktails #DIY #alkaseltzer #pepto

Think of bitters and soda as natural pepto bism*l, or natural alka-seltz*r.  They were made for your body.  They are crafted from natural ingredients.  So for that over-the-counter stuff, and make a Bitters & Soda instead!

I have been using my homemade bitters as a settling tonic for any upset tummies at my house, especially during our bouts with colds and flus.  Sometimes I have a glass of bitters and soda before I go to bed, and then I sleep like a baby.

While traditional cocktail bitters are making a comeback in local artisan bars, most people still only use them from a storebought bottle for the occasional drink, if they use them at all!  I think bitters are shamefully underused, especially as a part of digestive health.  That’s why I wrote Real Cocktails, because I think we need to bring them back! [Read more…]

Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

Butternut Cupcake with Cardamom Buttercream

Butternut Cupcake with Cardamom Buttercream

Well I don’t know about you, but this year Thanksgiving really snuck up on me.  I was talking to my husband yesterday and he mentioned that his sister was flying into town this week and I was jolted into reality.  It’s time to make pies!  Thanksgiving is next week!

I love making pie.  I also love roasting turkey, making green bean casserole, soaking buttermilk biscuits, mashing potatoes and whisking gravy.  But my real love is pie.  Jack Handy said it best:

“When you die, if you get a choice between going to regular heaven or pie heaven, choose pie heaven. It might be a trick, but if it’s not, mmmmmmmm, boy.”

Exactly.  There’s a reason I have three different pie dough recipes up on Our Nourishing Roots, and that was all within the first year of recipes!  Join me over the next week as I make a series of pies and share the pictures here and on my Facebook page.  I cannot promise pie heaven, but I think we will come close. [Read more…]

Aromatic Cocktail Bitters: Not Just For Martinis

If you haven’t already heard me geeking out about my new e-book, then brace yourself.  Over the last several months I have been experimenting with making my own cocktails at home, including figuring out recipes for various liqueurs, and even Irish Cream.  And the final result is my Natural Cocktails E-book!

Today I am sharing a recipe excerpt from Natural Cocktails.  I cannot tell you how much fun I have had researching, reading, shaking cocktails, and playing with recipes for this book!  But the most fun of all?  Making my own cocktail bitters.

Cocktail bitters are added to a drink in dashes or drops, to enliven the flavor and deepen the overall taste of the cocktail.  Aromatic Bitters are the most common kind of bitters, the standard used most often in cocktail recipes, especially in classic cocktails.  [Read more…]