Move over Bloody Mary, you’ve been dethroned as the healthiest brunch drink in town.
After you pile up your bags at the Saturday morning Union Square Greenmarket, head over to Irvington and grab a seat at the bar for an amped-up cocktail.
At Irvington, chef David Nichols is in the open kitchen cooking smart new-American food with zippy Mediterranean influences. When it comes to sourcing locally, the restaurant has exactly zero excuses: It’s located catty-corner from Union Square.
The healthful touches don’t stop at the food: bartender Nico Szymanski is behind the list of super-juice cocktails boosted with Liquiteria’s cold-pressed blends.
Settle in for a Green Dream ($15) made with Crop organic cucumber vodka and Liquiteria’s All Greens blend of kale, spinach, romaine, parsley, celery and cucumber.
When we pressed Nico about calling a cocktail “healthy,” he gave it to us straight up. “I’ll put it this way: They’re as healthy as you’re going to get with something that’s also loaded with alcohol,” he says. “The vast majority of calories in a cocktail come from the alcohol itself (1 ounce of an 80 proof spirit contains about 65 calories). So beyond that, the only things that you can tweak to make a drink more or less healthy are the mixers. And in this case the mixers are fresh, whole ingredients loaded with nutrients, instead of sugar. So yes, they are as healthy as possible with anything that still gives you a buzz.”
Nico’s favorite is “The Seeing Red” ($15). In it, he pairs the sharp bite of rye whiskey with the earthiness of Liquiteria’s Beets Me blend of carrots, beets, ginger, orange and pineapple—garnished with candied ginger.
Add an order of avocado and spring pea toast with pickled cage-free eggs and shaved cucumber ($15), and we’d call that a brunch of champions.