The Cu-Tini

I’ve done some research to find “healthy” cocktail ideas, and I keep coming back to the same source—Sarma Melngailis’ books: Raw Food Real World and Raw Living Food. At her restaurant in NYC, Pure Food and Wine, they serve raw food and drinks, with the exception of the sake in the cocktails.

In one of her books, Sarma discusses sake and says that although it is not technically raw (it’s made from steamed rice), it is natural and rich in amino acids. Pure Food and Wine also serves organic and biodynamic wines.

I emailed Sarma to ask her permission to post one of her cocktail recipes on Thrive Style, and she agreed that it would be ok!  The cocktails published in her books include names like White Light Tini, Raspberry Sunset, Purple Haze, Yuzu Melon, Pink Spice Martini, Thai Lemonade, Master Cleanse Tini and Sake Colada. After receiving permission, I had the task of choosing which cocktail to share with you—something not too exotic (I know you like your yuzus and everything, but I wanted to choose something with ingredients that would be easily obtainable by everyone), super tasty, and fun! Oh, and also it had to be something I really wanted to try so I could make it and take pictures 🙂


I chose the Cu-Tini, and here is an excerpt straight from the book:

“One of our bartenders, Michael Turvin, came up with this drink, and I love how he serves it. Instead of combining the grapefruit juice in the shaker, he keeps it on the side and pours it into the martini glasses individually so that the grapefruit juice rests on the bottom, with the pale green layer of liquid on top.

You can put the grapefruit juice in a squeeze bottle and shoot it in, or pour it gently on the side of the glass. Either way, because it’s a denser liquid, it should end up at the bottom of the glass.

There are several ways to extract cucumber juice: You can use a juicer, you can blend peeled cucumber and strain it, or you can muddle it in a glass and strain it. That’s how we do it at the restaurant as it’s the fastest way to get fresh cucumber juice when you’re behind the bar.

2 cups cucumber juice

2 cups sake

1 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

¾ cup agave nectar

4 thin cucumber slices, for garnish

Combine all the ingredients except the cucumber slices and shake over ice in a martini shaker. Pour into martini glasses. Float the cucumber slices on the surface to garnish.”

Finished Product---maybe a little heavy on the grapefruit and light on the cuke/sake...but it was delicious AND Beautiful!
Possibly a little heavy on the grapefruit, and a little light on the cuke/sake, but totally delicious and beautiful!!


p.s. My first attempt was a practice round—I tried to add more cucumber juice/sake after I had put in the grapefruit juice, and after that it did not separate into two layers.  Second time was perfect—although I’m not sure what it looks like when ordered at Pure.  I hope to find out someday soon!

Thanks Sarma!

12 thoughts on “The Cu-Tini”

  1. Ha ha, yes I did recognize the glass but I figured without them you wouldn’t have been able to display your awesome work!

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