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Juicing Meets Boozing: Springtime Cocktails with a Nutritious Twist

I've unapologetically busted out sandals in public settings three times this week—y'all, spring is just about here, and I'm welcoming her with open arms and open-toed shoes. The past couple of weekends in Birmingham, AL have been characterized by warming rays balanced with an easy breeze, plus lots of bird chirping. It's an enchanted forest level of lovely. And weekend weather such as this calls for one thing...

Lies. It probably calls for many things for a slightly more actively outdoorsy person.

But for me, it calls for one thing... day drinking. This is my favorite time of year to sit out on a patio with a clump of friends to share a sip and some catch-up convo.  And for occasions like this, a cool and refreshing cocktail is just the right elixir. Enter, juice-tails.

I am a huge fan of incorporating fresh pressed juices into whatever hour you designate as "happy hour" for a number of reasons, the big ones being: 1. fresh juice seriously brings the necessary "refreshing" factor to your cocktails and 2. swapping vibrant fresh juice in for other typical mixers means that you're trading an excess of added refined sugar for vitamins and antioxidants. The folks over at Southern Pressed Juicery are experts both in pressing juice and having fun; thus, they were the perfect source to tap for our spring 2016 juice-tail needs. The juice mavens at SPJ developed the following 3 cocktails based on some of the most popular juice blends at their Greenville, SC shop. Call up your crew and bring out the juicer, we have cocktails to tend to.

Southern Smash Inspired by the classic Smash cocktail from the 1800’s, this tasty beverage has a little extra protein with the addition of an egg white. Add a side of bacon and it could be a sunny Saturday breakfast.

1 large egg white* 1 1/4 ounces rye whiskey (such as Bulleit brand) 2 1/2 ounces Southern Pressed Juicery “Down the Hatch” juice (see below) 1/2 ounce maple syrup

1. Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker; shake vigorously for 10 to 20 seconds or until frothy. Fill a glass with crushed ice; pour egg white mixture over ice. Garnish with an orange rind strip, if desired. Serve immediately.

To Recreate “Down the Hatch” juice: 6 ounces fresh orange juice 1/4 cup ginger powder - Combine all ingredients in a glass, stirring to combine. OR 1 1/2 oranges 1 (3-inch) piece ginger root - Juice all ingredients in a juicer according to manufacturer's instructions.

Missy Migos This is a play on a Paloma Cocktail, a favorite from Mexico. Rather than using Squirt or sweet grapefruit soda, we go for fresh ingredients.

1 1/4 ounces silver tequila (such as Casamigos Blanco brand) 2 1/2 ounces Southern Pressed Juicery “Hot Mess” juice (see below) 1 1/4 ounces club soda 1/2 ounce simple syrup

1. Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake until blended; pour into a Collins glass. Garnish with jalapeno slices, if desired.

To Recreate “Hot Mess” juice: 1 1/4 cups fresh grapefruit juice 1/2 cup fresh orange juice 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice 1/4 tsp ginger powder Dash Camu powder Dash cayenne pepper

- Combine all ingredients in a pitcher, stirring to combine.

DTR DTR stands for Detox to Retox. This cocktail will allow you to have your spinach and drink it too.

3 large basil leaves 1 1/4 ounces gin (such as Hendrick's brand) 2 1/2 ounces Southern Pressed Juicery “The Big Green” juice (see below)

1. Muddle basil leaves in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice and remaining ingredients; shake for 15 seconds. Pour into a frosted martini glass; garnish with a cucumber ribbon and a basil leaf, if desired.

To Recreate "The Big Green" juice: 2 granny smith apples 2 stalks celery 1/4 pound baby spinach 1 small bunch parsley 1  lemon, peeled

- Juice all ingredients in a juicer according to manufacturer's instructions.

For more on Southern Pressed Juicery, visit them at southernpressedjuicery.com.

More Springtime Sippers: