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Local Libations: The Cilveria – A Health Cocktail!

2011 May 6

By Brianna Bain

Cilantro-Lemon-Verbena- Stevia-Lime

You might be one of the millions who spent last night listening to a mariachi band, snacking on chips, salsa, hot carrots and street tacos while downing one too many a giant margarita! In the US Cinco de Mayo has become a traditional celebratory event relishing in Mexican heritage, pride in their incredible victory over the much better-equipped French army forces and of course their amazing food and drink! If you have found yourself in rare form on this 6th of May, never fear – I have put together a post Cinco de Mayo libation that will have you back on your feet feeling ready to face the weekend with whole body and mind!

CLICK HERE for the full post.

My inspiration for today’s drink was rooted in Andrew’s Grey Ghost adventures; retracing his childhood herb garden mowing mishaps and his recent visit to a local apothecary in NY.  It all seemed to lead to a home remedy/medicinal theme for me. Having recently transformed my front lawn into a garden, I have just planted an herb spiral where I have marjoram, dill, oregano, thyme, lemon verbena, stevia, mint, chamomile and echinacea. The spiral, though still young, was my source for today’s creation along with a select Bearss lime from my developing orchard. Today’s recipe is as local as it gets! Minus the water that flows form my tap, invariably diverted form he Colorado river – something I think of often, but I will leave that issue aside for today.

I selected today’s non-alcoholic cocktail ingredients based first on flavor.  I am weak in the knees for lemon verbena and the smell of fresh cut cilantro strangely makes me think of what fairies breath would smell of – meaning: I love fairies breath, I guess. The stevia came to mind to bring a gentle sweetness to the drink while avoiding the addition of processed sugars, and the lime seemed a natural choice to seal the deal with a little pucker. Second,  I did a little research on the benefits of these herbs to see what my intuition had concocted. The result: an antioxidant rich, anti inflammatory, anti bacterial, fever reducing, digestive aiding, cholesterol lowering, anti nausea, PMS reducing, endocrine gland stimulating,  energy improving, immune system supporting,  liver boosting, detoxifying, blood sugar lowering, de-stressing health cocktail! I’ll take two please!

Usually a list of benefits this long would ensure a flavor that one would not call desirable – but not this drink! It is mild, mellow and very tasty.  So, whether your coming down from an eve of over indulgence or just looking for a new and refreshing way to drink more water as the season heats up, this blend of cilantro, lemon verbena, stevia and lime will surely support you in good health and in good times!

I present to you: The Cilveria – Salude!

Cilveria

Prep time: 5 minutes + 2-3 hours cooling

Cook time: 15 minutes

Total time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Yield: 2

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs Lemon Verbena (chopped)
  • 1 Tbs Cilantro (chopped)
  • 1 Tbs Stevia (chopped)
  • 1/2 Small Lime (Juiced)
  • 3 Cups Water

Cooking Directions

  1. Add chopped lemon verbena, cilantro and stevia to sauce pan.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil. Let water boil for a few minutes then remove from heat – about 15 minutes.
  3. Pour heated water and herbs into a heat safe container.
  4. Add lime juice and let cool for 2-3 hours or overnight in the fridge.
  5. Once cooled, strain mixture over ice and serve with a slice of lime for garnish.
  6. Sip your way to health!

The Cilveria was sweet enough for me but if you want it sweeter you can increase the number of stevia leaves in the recipe, add stevia extract upon serving, or add a tablespoon of local raw honey for additional health benefits.

- Brianna