glow, baby, glow | cucumber, honeydew + kale shots from jules aron’s book, “zen and tonic”

Chocolate and peanut butter. Doughnuts and coffee. Netflix and pajamas. Rosé and poolside sunning. Gin and juice. There’s a strong theme going on here: perfect pairings. In fact, these are some of my personal, favorite pairings, especially the part where gin and juice come out to play. I love gin’s herbaceous, complex character, and it meshes so beautifully with botanicals, fruits, and fresh herbs. It’s the OG, garden-to-glass mixer, in my opinion.

I also make a green juice or smoothie on the daily. Pairing these two loves of mine – gin and green juice – is a natural fit. While I’m not suggesting enjoying these two things together first thing in the morning, I’m all for this combination by at least mid-afternoon. Mondays are a different story, though. Am I right? This combination of flavors is fiercely tempting me this particular morning.

DSC_6918

I definitely think that booze and juice can be friends. In fact, they can even complement each other, tastefully and healthfully. Enter Jules Aron, a certified health and nutrition coach and NYC-based mixologist. Her new book, Zen and Tonic, combines her two loves and areas of expertise: health and cocktails. Filled with over 100 cocktail recipes, this 240-page book showcases her favorite bar essentials, a few helpful tips, a handful of detailed spotlights on superfoods, and copious, savvy resources for organic spirits, mixers, and wines. And it’s beyond beautiful to boot.

Jules and I agree that “stocking a home bar should be a fun and exciting adventure.” The suggestions and recommendations she makes throughout her book are all easy, affordable, and available. As I thumbed through the pages of Jules’ book, I realized a theme: healthy and fun. The practical advice she derives from her father’s deep appreciation of the health benefits from the plant world seamlessly coincides with her rich background in health studies. It’s health meets fun. It’s, well, Zen and Tonic.

DSC_6927

As a gardener, I am constantly sourcing my backyard for just the right herb, fruit, or even vegetable for cocktail inspiration. Spirits-heavy cocktails, like the Negroni or a Manhattan, definitely have their place in a cocktail repertoire, but why not add a healthier kick to your cocktails with fresh, organic ingredients? Throughout her book, Jules encourages drink enthusiasts to “get their booze on without the guilt.”

Sign me up.

DSC_6869 DSC_6864 DSC_6873

I chose one of Jules’ cocktail recipes to share with you here. It’s a “let’s make it better” shot, filled with organic kale, apple, honeydew melon, cucumber, and lime. There’s also a healthy dose of gin in the mix. Aptly named “Glow, Baby, Glow”, this elixir is packed with hydrating, healthy fruits and vegetables. It’s sessionable and refreshing.


glow, baby, glow – cucumber, honeydew + kale shots


  • 4 large kale leaves
  • 1 apple
  • 1/2 honeydew melon
  • 1 medium-sized cucumber
  • 1 lime
  • 4 ounces gin {I used Aviation}
  1. Juice all of the ingredients, except the gin.
  2. Transfer the juice to a shaker filled with ice and add the gin.
  3. Shake well and pour into four shot glasses.
  • This recipe yields four shots, but depending upon the size of the melon and cucumber, your recipe may yield more or less. I had a lot of juice leftover, which was not a bad thing at all.
  • Optionally, you can pass the juice through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois for a thinner drink, if you tend toward a less “smoothie-like” texture.

superfood spotlight — kale

“Did you know that kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk? Kale also has more iron than beef, and with its 3:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein, its nutritional density is unparalleled among green, leafy vegetables.”


DSC_6885

For this recipe, I used my Hurom HH Elite Slow Juicer. It is powerful but gentle enough to preserve the vibrant colors, inherent nutrition, and rich flavors of juiced fruits and vegetables. If you don’t have a juicer, there is no need to fret. Simply purée the ingredients in a high-powered blender and run the juice through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois to achieve a more juice-like consistency.

Another helpful aspect of Jules’ book, Zen and Tonic, is the short snippets on the various “superfoods” she incorporates into her cocktail recipes. She shows you how you can grab a day’s worth of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and pack all of their benefits into a cocktail. You truly can have your cake and eat it, too. Or, in our case, get your greens on and sip your gin, all at the same time. I know. Mind-blown.

DSC_6900 DSC_6907 (1)

Look out for Jules’ book release today, available online at and in various, independent bookstores, and be sure to follow Jules on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more inspiration.

Cheers to Monday! I’ll be dealing with a few downed branches in the backyard from this weekend’s heavy spring snowstorm. We got well over a foot of snow here in Denver, right when all of our tender lettuce starts were popping up and the crabapple blossoms were showing off all of their fragrant, pink blooms. In spring’s case, unlike the case of our green juice cocktail, I suppose that you can’t have your cake and eat it, too.

I’ll add a few snaps from our spring garden. I took these shots just before the crazy, second edition of Denver’s springtime blizzard. Just before everything turned white and frigid.

XO,

Jayme

DSC_6922 (1)

17 thoughts on “glow, baby, glow | cucumber, honeydew + kale shots from jules aron’s book, “zen and tonic”

  1. Meg

    I love honeydew with green, it makes for a lovely smooth drink, and would add that touch of sweetness you would want to counteract a nice botanical gin like aviation. I might have to try this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      I’m so wth you here, Meg. Botanicals, greens, and honeydew are natural matches. I’ve also made this recipe with Hendrick’s gin with great results. Definitely give it a go! 😀

      Like

      Reply
  2. danielle is rooting the sun

    sign me up twice jayme! and then let me camp in your beautiful garden (post insanity snow storm). gin and green juice is seriously great – it’s having cake and eating it too. – zen and tonic sounds like a great compendium of flavor! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      One day, when we set up a proper b+b, we will definitely have you over for one of these! And you would love this book, Danielle. It is a great compendium of flavor. Healthy and buzzy, at the same time. 😇

      Like

      Reply
    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      You would SO L-O-V-E this book, Sherrie. In fact, Jules is hosting a giveaway over on her blog this week! …and thanks for the feedback on the slight change-up. More to come! 😘😘😘 And dang, I am SO behind on everything. You wrote this a week ago! I need another vacay. Stat. Big Xs and Os to you, though. 😘

      Like

      Reply
  3. thejameskitchen

    Sounds like a brilliant drink and in fact book. I’ve got one tiny question, did you use the leaf in the pictures? That looks more like (rainbow) chard to me. Happy tp use it since kale has gone out of season here.
    Nicole

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      Hi, Nicole! I used it as a pretty prop, actually modeled after a photo from the very page from Jule’s book, where this cocktail is featured. You can definitely sub any dark, leafy green in this recipe – Swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, etc. Let me know how yours turns out!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. anne

    Oooh, that book sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing, Jayme.

    Loving all the photos of your garden. I hope things didn’t get too damaged by the snow (and i hope that’s a distant memory by now!!).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Jayme Henderson Post author

      Anne, I’m finally catching up on “life” this weekend. It’s nearly time for bed right now, as I type. You would really like this particular book; it is a great mix of “health” and “booze”, and it is so beautifully written and photographed. AND!!! I got your beautiful, sweet postcard in the mail this past week, and it completely made my day. I’ll definitely have to write back and catch you up on on things. I am only sending you the most positive of vibes and the biggest of hugs your way. Happy Memorial Day weekend to you and your husband! You both have a great time relaxing and enjoying the summer’s beautiful offerings. MUCH LOVE to you guys!! I mean it – you made my week with the timeliness of your words. XOXO!

      Like

      Reply
  5. Pingback: Sensational Summer Sips | 30+ Drinks to Cool Off With | Gourmande in the Kitchen

What do you have to say? I love your comments!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s