Frozen Swedish Bitters Cocktails
When my family travels across the country (including my 88 year old grandma) a celebration is in order. My family likes to enjoy themselves, through food and through drink, and one great thing about us all is that we're pretty health conscious. This week we've spent our evenings gathered around the open kitchen in my parent's house, collaborating on dinner and struggling to finish it through endless conversation. It's been a nice change because it's something I left behind when I moved here from Ontario.
You have probably heard of the term bitters in various alcoholic drinks, and they are exactly how they sound, bitter. Typically very old recipes, bitters are herbal extractions in alcohol (usually) which offer that bitter taste, something the North American culture lacks in their diet. The bitter taste is known to stimulate bile flow, stomach acid secretion, digesting fats, and getting the digestive system moving in general. Flora's Swedish bitters contain aloe vera, cinnamon, cardamom, camphor, senna and rhubarb among many other digestive-focused herbs, which makes its formula slightly different from the bitters you'll find in a liquor store. While many bitters focus on bringing out a unique taste or offering something to a particular drink (like orange bitters in an old fashion), Flora's bitters aid in the digestion of a meal, and can be used alone as a digestive tonic.
Swedish Bitters Cocktails
Makes: two cocktails
1/4 of a large seedless watermelon
1/2 an English cucumber
Juice of one lime
4-5 fresh mint leaves
1/3 bottle of sparking rosé
2 tsp Flora's alcohol free Swedish Bitters*
Lime zest, for garnish
1. | Cut watermelon into cubes and freeze it for at least a two hours.* Chill the sparkling rosé.
2. | Peel and cut the cucumber into large chunks. The peel can act as a garnish for the drinks, but it's also a yummy and nutritious snack.
3. | In a high speed blender, add the frozen watermelon, cucumber, lime juice, mint leaves, sparkling rosé and Swedish Bitters. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes.
4. | Pour into cocktail glasses and garnish with mint, cucumber peel, and/or lime zest.
1. | Flora offers two versions of their Swedish Bitters - one that contains alcohol, and one with simply water and citric acid. Alcohol is an excellent extractor of the important constituents of the herbs that play a role in digestion, which is why many herbal tinctures use alcohol. I prefer the taste of the alcohol-free version of their digestive bitters, though. Feel free to experiment with both!
2. | Freezing watermelon will give the final product a slushy-like consistency.