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As I mentioned, today is mocktails, or Moxie Tales day on the blog. For my inaugural post, I begin with a throw back from last year.

The Sophisticate

Adapted from Jackson Cannon’s Sophisticated Lady

This week is bar week in our house. After three years of law school and one summer of intensive study, my husband Joey is taking the California bar exam. As two graduate students we know the importance of a stiff drink to close out the end of a difficult exam day and to celebrate the end of a rough few months of work. You need something that you can sip slowly; a drink that begs for a deep breath with each slurp. Where to turn when you’re craving a stiff and refreshing moxietail to stave off a rough day – or month – or year? The sophisticate is the perfect fix. Adapted from Jackson Cannon’s Sophisticated Lady as featured on foodandwine.com, this cocktail is a bit less sweet and a bit more sophisticated.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when the sugar from a drink sticks to the back of my throat. I first tried mixing this drink without sugar at all, but while that version would be fantastic for an extra salty treat, I opted for a smidge of raw organic agave to take the edge off. I also went for unsweetened organic tart cherry juice as opposed to the ever-classic cranberry cocktail. Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of pure cranberry juice. I like it best with a splash of fresh lime, crisp sparkling water, and plenty of ice. The strong taste is perfect when paired with a summer meal. Hmmm, I could go on… future post? Anyway, since I frequent cranberry juice so often, I wanted something a bit more out of the ordinary for this special occasion sipper. What better way to turn in the middle of cherry season (has anyone else noticed the plethora of cherries at the farmer’s market these days?) than to tart cherry juice! This not too sweet beverage boasts a deep flavor and ensures that a rounded and smooth finish follows any tart pinch of cherry in the juice.

Pair your sugars with some savory flavors to get that sophisticated feel. Add a little extra salt and a little extra cucumber, and don’t shy from the fresh lime juice. Any mixologist will tell you that mixing a cocktail is a science. In this case, however, you find yourself at the end of a long day and don’t have the energy for precision. Be sloppy with your juicing and generous with your slicing – a little more lime and a little more cucumber can’t hurt. I find that salt helps deepen the flavor palate of non-alcoholic cocktails, so be sure to give yourself enough salt to balance out the sweet and tangy qualities of the juices in this drink.

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The Sophisticate
makes 1 drink

Ingredients:

2 unpeeled cucumber wheels
¼ tsp raw agave
¼ teaspoon salt (heaping)
Ice
2 oz tart cherry juice (100% juice)
1 oz fresh lime juice

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