As some of you may know, I’m a woman that enjoys a sophisticated beverage every once in while, along with being a food guru at heart. I’ve grown up traveling the world with life long friends, wining and dining at some of the best restaurants around.  I’ve also had my fair share of ladies’ nights (girls you know who you are) dining out with friends and dancing my Jimmy Choo’s off. I am a free spirited woman that embraces my age… being over 40. I am: confident, intelligent and open to adventure. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that age has its limitations; that’s what brought me to understand that skin care and being healthy are key essentials in leading a fulfilled life.
 
As a career woman I’ve had long days where meetings and traveling gets the best of me. Sometimes a glass of wine just doesn’t cut it!  I’m all about nutrition, and although I am a true Texas girl that loves a strong margarita, I believe in finding alternatives to healthier beverage options. The effects of alcohol on your skin are more than just the short-term bags underneath your eyes. For example, have you ever had a morning when you put on your favorite heels after a night of cocktails and your shoes seem to have shrunk after one night? The first thing you think is, “did I gain weight in my feet?” If you ended your night with some salted french fries and diet soda (thinking you would go the healthier route) at 3 a.m. that’s one thing, but the truth is, it’s the alcohol AND the resulting decisions from the alcohol.  
 
High calorie cocktails can cause your skin and face to bloat, along with causing that occasional mini morning “muffin top” (that’s what Spanks are for).  Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin – your largest organ. Sadly, this happens every time you drink, and drinking too much can deprive you of vital nutrients and vitamins. A small single margarita can contain up to 400 plus calories! It’s packed with sugar that can lead to dehydration in your skin and body.   
 
As a suggestion, I would say to always think about what’s in your cocktail before you order. Dose it contain fruit?  Antioxidants? Is the appearance more “smoothie” like or clear (most likely the thicker it looks, the higher the calorie and sugar it contains)?  Here are some of my favorite beverages that are filled with antioxidants and taste great at the same time.  Antioxidants “have the ability to neutralize free radicals, which are byproducts of your metabolism and of pollution, smoking and other environmental factors.”  They also have the ability to help fight disease and contain vital nutrients that our body needs such as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene.
 
1) The India Rose - D’Andra Style
 Friends, I am not a good measurer and I love everything crazy hot (as in spicy) in this case J, so feel free to adjust this cocktail to your liking. It is certainly not for the heat challenged. This is a guess on how to make it since I am not a mixologist, and I free-hand everything in my bar at home, tasting as I go.

Ingredients:

  •      3 ounces mango nectar
  •      1 1/2 ounces vodka
  •      1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  •       fresh tomato
  •       fresh green chili (Serrano is what I use)
  •       salt (you can also add a little masala spice if you like which is found at most groceries and Indian markets)
  •       1/2 teaspoon rose water (Some people add this and thus the name makes sense. I do not add this in my recipe, but feel free to experiment with it if you like rose water.)

 

Peel the tomato (try ½ or ¼ Roma to start). Remove seeds from the chili (try ½ to 1 to start). Muddle the tomato and chili in a martini shaker. Add lime juice, vodka and mango nectar and ice. Shake vigorously. Strain and serve straight up. Garnish the rim of the glass with salt or salt/masala mixture, and if you like, a hot sliced chili… or lime wedge for the wimps!

 

2) Blackberry Mojito

Ingredients: http://forkvsspoon.com/archives/2276

  •       6-8 blackberries
  •       8 mint leaves
  •       1 ounce of Rum
  •       1 tablespoon of sugar
  •       Juice of half a lime
  •       A few ice cubes
  •       2-3 ounces of club soda

 

In a glass, combine the sugar and mint leaves.  Using a muddler or a pestle, break down the mint into the sugar, releasing its oils and aroma.  Add blackberries, rum, and lime juice and continue to muddle the ingredients together.  ( I used the back of a spoon to smash the blackberries).  Add a few ice cubes and top off with club soda.  Garnish with extra blackberries and mint sprigs.

 

Have a great weekend everyone! -  D'Andra Simmons

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