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Antiox Your Intox

Get a health boost with your buzz from five fancy drinks that go way beyond the pomegranate martini.
Tuesday May 15, 2007.     By Julia Steinberger
Centerstage Chicago Nightlife City Guide Arts

photo: courtesy of Debonair Social Club
Thought "health nut" and "booze hound" were mutually exclusive terms? Not anymore, or at least that's what we like to tell ourselves as we sip on alcoholic concoctions loaded with fresh fruits like blueberries and yuzu. These buzz-worthy drinks feature at least one antioxidant-packed ingredient, meaning their natural enzymes cancel out the negative effects of free radicals, damaged cells that can cause problems by attacking other cells. Health studies suggest that people who consume high levels of antioxidant-rich foods have better immune systems and may even be protected from long-term health problems. One thing we know for sure is that these ultra-imaginative recipes leave the ho-hum pomegranate martini in the dust. Just be warned: Antioxidant does not equal anti-hangover.

Long Island Iced Tea at Debonair Social Club
Devotees around the world sing the praises of green tea for its detox benefits. Debonair's whopper Long Island starts with Zen Green Tea Liqueur, a neutral spirit distilled with premium whole and ground green tea leaves sourced from a centuries-old Japanese grower and flavored with lemongrass. Add in Stoli Elite, Bombay Sapphire gin, Pyrat rum, Patron Silver and splashes of Coke and 7-Up, and you have a refreshing knockout served over ice that you can sip on all night. The tab: $20.

Samba Juice at SushiSamba Rio
Sushi Samba uses acai (pronounced "ah-sy-EE"), the South American superfruit known for its healing benefits and energy-boosting properties. Natural stimulant guarana adds to the nighttime fuel while passionfruit puree gives a tart kick; creme de banana and guava juice smooth out the flavor. The nutrient-packed concoction is blended with Bacardi Island Breeze Wild Berry low-cal rum. For your second round, choose the Mora Negra, with muddled blackberries for an antiox fix. The tab: Samba $11; Mora Negra $10.

photo: courtesy of Nacional 27

Blueberry Caipirinha at Nacional 27
Manager/sommelier Adam Seeger makes a seasonal twist on this famed Brazilian specialty with fresh, organic blueberries from Green City Market during farmers market season. The health-boosting berries are muddled with lime and Agua Luca cachaca (pronounced, ka-SHA-sa), the Brazilian sugar cane rum used as the base for caipirinhas. For your second round, pick the pomegranate-ginger-chile mojito (or any drink, for that matter) mixed with Seger's homemade Bitters 27, which are infused with 27 botanicals including antiox-rich mugwort, eyebright, aloe, carline thistle and Antigua bark. The tab: caipirinha $8; mojito $9.

Yuzu Martini at aria bar
Pucker up for a powerful jolt of immune system-boosters. Researchers report high antioxidant activity in addition to a hefty dose of vitamin C in yuzu, a hardy Japanese citrus fruit that tastes like a grapefruit muddled with a Mandarin orange. Aria blends fresh yuzu juice with Absolut Mandarin for a tart and refreshing toast. For your second round, the Thai Temptation, a blend of antioxidant-rich blueberries muddled with Thai basil and mixed with healing ginger syrup and Absolut Citron. The tab: $11 each.

The James Martini at J Bar
J Bar sticks up for your sweet tooth with its signature drink, sporting blue raspberry liquid candy drizzled around the inside of the glass. The pale pink cocktail features elder flower, a medicinal herb used in North America and Europe that's packed with antioxidant flavonoids (another type of antioxidant said to benefit blood vessel function). The bartender mixes the light-flavored elder flower extract with Stoli Raspberi and fresh-squeezed lime for a sour punch. The tab: $11.


Explore More

Bars & Clubs

Brand-New Bars

Brand-New Bars

Get divey on Grace; go downstairs at River North's Curio.

Food & Dining

New Restaurants

New Restaurants

Go Dutch at Vincent and satisfy a familiar sweet tooth at BomBon.

What's Happening Today
  • Chalkboard
    Half-price bottles of wine
  • Dugan's
    $3.50 Guinness, Harp and Bass, $3 Miller Lite bottles, $4.50 Absolut drinks
  • Third Rail Tavern
    $4 big steins of Bud Light
  • Moe's Cantina
    $4 bottles of Sol and Dos Equis, $4 margaritas, $1 steak or chicken tacos, $3 mesquite-grilled steak or chicken skewers (not valid on Cubs home game days)