LAVENDER GRAPE & TONIC | A CALMING MOCKTAIL

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Hey’all, I hope everyone had a restful and splendid weekend. Last Friday I was out with my bride tribe for a TGIF night at the Empire club. It’s been almost two years since I’ve visited a club and stayed awake at 3am.

We danced as if no one’s watching and I conquered a handful of spirits, thanks to how mild every gin & tonic dry the bartender mixed🙄. 7 drinks were all it took to reach my boundaries. I rejected every unwelcoming free drinks and stopped myself from getting hammered because that was never a cool and sensible thing to do.

My pinkish Asian flush, hives and dizziness are the dead giveaways that I am alcohol intolerant. It makes me feel vulnerable, yet embarrassed in a social setting. Hence, I never feel safe drinking more than one glass without people I trust around me. I begin drinking with Ryan at home instead. Home-made mulled wine, sparkling mock-tails, or the Old-Fashioned sum up our drink’s list. If anything happens, the bed or Ryan’s shoulder will be my safety nets, hahaha.

Today, I’ll be sharing with you this Lavender Grape & Tonic, high in fibre, which aids in digestion.

This inventive mock-tail comprises of dried lavender buds, seasonal Campbell Early Grapes from Korea, lime juice and skinny tonic water. Imagine a sparkling red wine. It’s refreshing to drink, and wake up sans hangover!

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After I removed the seeds and blended the flesh, the grape juice is slightly vinous. If you like, crush some dried or fresh lavender buds and stir in with lime juice. Strain the flowers and mix with the dense and sweet-acidic grape juice to counteract the bitterness of qunine in tonic water.

What are Campbell Early Grapes?

The harvesting season for Campbell Early Grapes aka Hwaseong Grapes is typically between September and October. These grapes are nearly round and grow in compact, handsome clusters. Korean grapes contain seeds, but their skin slip off neatly and easily once I pinched them with both my thumbs and index fingers.

Whiffs of sweetness emanated from the early grapes resemble those Japanese grape-flavoured gummies. They tasted uniquely palatable compared to other grapes I ate before and never left my lips tingling after popping in a few.

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What are the benefits of grapes?

  • Grapes contain phytonutrients, they are chemical produced by plants. Phytonutrients provide significant health benefits for individuals on plant-based diets.

  • Grapes are good source of fiber. Fiber also helps to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease, according to a 2013 review in the BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal). Our digestive process requires bile acids, which are made partly with cholesterol. As your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid, thereby reducing the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol. With a sufficient daily fibre intake, it can make a difference to the overall colorectal health. Source: Livescience.com

  • Grapes contain copper and research suggests that copper also helps maintain strong bones. A study in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society explained that copper is essential for enzymes involved in the synthesis of bone components, and could possibly help prevent bone loss.

Should I eat grape skins?

  • Grape skins has the majority of the nutrients and antioxidants, particularly its high reservatrol content. Reservatrol is known for its effects of reducing the risk of heart diseases and anti-inflammatory activities. However, most of grapes are covered with pesticides in the United States, according to Environmental Working Group’s Dirty List, or if they are not organically-grown.

  • For myself, I do wash the grapes thoroughly most of the times before consumption, or purchase organic grapes for my safety. Enjoy grape skin in moderation!

LAVENDER GRAPE & TONIC (serves 2)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 150g Campbell Early Grape (Korea)

  • Juice of 1 large seedless lime

  • 2 sprigs dried lavender buds, available in FairPrice Finest

  • 600ml/3 bottles Skinny Tonic Water (Double Dutch), available in FairPrice Finest

Directions

  • Pull out the lavender buds into a bowl. Use a rolling pin or pestle to crush them roughly.

  • Mix crushed lavender buds into lime juice and let it sit for 10 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, wash grapes thoroughly and deseed. Add the grapes into a blender and blend until a smooth, deep red juice is formed. The grape skins should also be finely chopped. Strain the juice with a strainer, use the back of a spoon to press on residue to squeeze out excess juice. Set aside.

  • Strain lavender buds. Divide lavender infused lime juice and grape juice between two glass jars. 

  • Pour 300ml/ 1½ bottle of chilled skinny tonic water to each jars. Stir quickly with extra lavender sprigs and serve with ice cubes. 

Notes

  • Choose lavender buds that are fully purple for the best aromatic, calming qualities

  • Put some pressure and roll a large seedless lime on the chopping board to get the most juice out of it.

  • It is optional to keep the skin on if you don’t favour its astringent flavour

  • Chill skinny tonic water an hour before preparation

Enjoy!Xx

-Ally