Written by Chris Kilham
Once again it’s the holiday season, and for the fourth year in a row, Dr. Manny Alvarez and I have decided to ring in the season with healthy cocktails. This time, we hit Cocktail Bodega, a funky little corner smoothie and cocktail bar on Chrystie Street in New York City’s Lower East Side.
Manny and I try to find cocktails that offer some sort of health-redeeming value in addition to the mood-modifying effects of the alcohol. At Cocktail Bodega, we focused on three cocktails that helped us to meet our objective.
Our first concoction was a green, swampy-looking smoothie/alcohol combination called The Bodega Cleanse. A blend of Grey Goose vodka, agave nectar, Anjou pear, kale, fresh aloe, kiwi fruit and flaxseed, the Bodega Cleanse was thick enough to stand a spoon in it, and reminded me of algae bloom in a standing body of water. The cleansing ingredients in the drink were the aloe gel, cut from thick, fresh aloe leaves, and flax seed, which provides a lot of stimulating fiber to the digestive tract. The kale, Anjou pear and kiwi fruits also provide good fiber, so this cocktail met its requirement for accuracy in labeling.
After our green, cleansing drink, we turned to the Gingersnap Ginseng Gin, which contained Plymouth Gin, apple juice, ginger, bee pollen, vitamin C, and a curious herbal formula dubbed “memory enhancer.” Bee pollen enhances energy and stamina, and ginger is antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and good for digestion. Vitamin C, of course, is an essential nutrient, and the mysterious memory enhancer contained many of my favorite herbs, including Rhodiola, Schisandra, maca, and eleuthero. These are all adaptogens, meaning they help you to adapt to mental and physical stresses of all kinds. Adaptogens also impart energy and stamina, are good for enhancing immune function, and boost mojo, or libido. We were on solid healthy ground with the Gingersnap Ginseng Gin.
Manny and I finished our stay with the Joint’s Fiber Picante, a mix of Avion Silver Tequila, agave nectar, celery juice, salt, serrano chili, and an herbal combination rich in Panax ginseng.