Sake Gumi
The Detox

It's mid-January and by this point many of you are off to the races as far as your resolutions are concerned. You've detoxed, cleaned up your diet, and are hitting the gym as frequently as a Playboy bunny who's about to be cut from the squad.

However if you're like me, 2010 didn't really start off with a sprint to the gym, but rather a slow crawl to the yack-box. In fact I'm already breaking a resolution to not blog at work. And if you really are like me, and you don't care too much for colonics and kale and banana smoothies, but want to feel like you're at least taking some steps in the right direction to renew and rejuvenate your body, then I have the perfect elixir for you.

It's called The Detox, and with it's potent yet tasty blend of vodka, lemon juice, honey, rosemary, and chiles, it's sure to kill any toxins (even the good ones) living inside you, and it tastes good to boot. Best of all you won't need a yoga mat nor a gym membership. All you'll need are a few key ingredients and your trusty cocktail shaker--and how often has your shaker, under my steady guidance, steered you wrong? Riddle me that if you will.

The Detox
2 oz vodka (I used Martin Ryan)
1 oz fresh lemon juice
1 oz honey-rosemary syrup (see recipe near bottom of this post)
dash cayenne pepper
For the rim: cayenne, puebla chile powder, and date sugar (recipe below)

Glass: cocktail glass
Tools: shaker, strainer

Rub a lemon slice along the outer rim of the cocktail glass and dip it in the chile and date sugar mixture. Pour the other ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until well chilled. Strain, enjoy, and repeat until your system is fully cleansed.

To make the rim mixture simply blend together 3-4 tbsp date sugar (found at most health food stores) with 1 tsp puebla chile powder and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper. If you're spice averse you can exclude the cayenne pepper on the rim, since there'll already be a dash of it in the cocktail.

Although I am not a vodka hater, in the world of craft mixology vodka is often treated worse than a biracial illegitimate stepchild. However I chose vodka in this cocktail for many of the same reasons it is hated: its purity and lack of dominating flavor which enable it to act more as a blank canvass in a cocktail than as a flavor component. I used Martin Ryan vodka because unlike most vodkas which have their souls distilled out of them, this still retains a bit of the spirit and essence of its origin distillate base, Oregon grapes.

So who needs all those new age detox diets and such when you have so many cleansing botanicals in one cocktail, right? Here's to a starting the year on a healthy note. Cheers!

*Got a cocktail question? Hit me on twitter @paystyle, email me at payman(at)lifesacocktail(dot)com, or simply drop me a comment below!

**Paystyle was born in Tehran and grew up in Los Angeles (aka Tehrangeles) before moving to Brooklyn with his wife and co-pilot Vanessa Bahmani who provides the stunning photography of Pay's cocktail concoctions. Return every Wednesday for his weekly Happy Hour column.
Column: Happy Hour


  • yum. i've always liked the lemon-cayenne detox mix just for the taste. so want to try this.

    noa on

  • Ooooh, what a great idea! Haha!

    Erin on

  • "Although I am not a vodka hater, in the world of craft mixology vodka is often treated worse than a biracial illegitimate stepchild."

    Fucking. Amazing.

    kayoko on

  • Thanks for this beautuful recipe.
    My version in English if somebody is interested in

    drohnenton on

  • You could double the detox by using Pincer vodka as its infused with Milk Thistle

    jonathan on

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