A Chat with Jules Aron about Holistic Cocktails

July 9, 2020

 

Meet Jules Aron – Author, Wellness Educator, Holistic Bartender, and Professional Happy Hour Host. As Canyon Catering is always on the hunt for fresh inspiration, ingredients, and ways to elevate our food and bar menu, Jules is an excellent go-to for everything cocktails and virtuous ingredients. We had the pleasure of speaking to Jules about her cocktail-making process and she gave us some insight into her favorite secrets as well as what she considers must-haves in the kitchen for drink-making. Take a look at our interview below:

 

Q: What’s your favorite ingredient to add to your cocktails? 

A: I like an equal mix of fresh lemon and lime juice–the interplay of the two citrus acids play beautifully against the alcohol and sugar in cocktails, making the flavors of the other drink ingredients pop.

Q: What’s one of your healthy secrets to creating holistic and healthy cocktails? 

A: Replacing refined sugars (agave, simple syrup, cane sugar) with natural sweeteners such as raw honey, maple syrup, or better yet using the natural sweetness of fresh fruit. I’m also a fan of infusing spirits with antioxidant-rich herbs, spices, and superfoods for incredible flavor and added health benefits.

Q: What are some tips you’d give to people looking to enjoy a cocktail party at home during the COVID-19 Lockdown?

A: Use what you have, keep it simple, have fun, and make it with love.

My top recommendation for pantry-style cocktails is definitely tea. There are so many varieties and flavors to choose from and you can use the tea as either a mixer or a tasty tea syrup to add both flavor and sweetness to your drinks. Just follow the recipe below:

Tea Syrup

  • 1 cup brewed tea
  • 1 cup sugar

Q: What would you say are the best garnishes to add to your cocktails?

A: A strategically placed garnish adds a decorative touch to your drink, but should also provide integral, complementary flavors and aromas. A citrus peel on a side of a drink that a guest can rub and squeeze will release just a touch of aroma to stimulate the senses. Edible flowers, fruit, berries, and herbs also create overall sensory impact. Whether it’s fresh citrus, edible flowers, or dehydrated fruit, make sure your garnishes are always edible.

Q: What are the essential must-haves in the kitchen when it comes to cocktail making?

A: Spirits including Bourbon, Rye Whiskey, Scotch (blended), Gin, Vodka, Rum, Tequila, and/or Mezcal. Liqueurs and fortified wines including Vermouth (dry), Vermouth (sweet), herb-based liqueurs such as Campari and Chartreuse, and orange-based liqueur such as Cointreau or Pierre Ferrand dry curacao

Jules’ Pro-Tip: Always favor quality or small-batch brands.

As for the must-haves for Mixers and other ingredients:

Aromatic bitters, such as the classic Angostura, Peychaud’s orange bitters, or artisan bitters in unique flavors.

Fresh citrus (lemon, lime)

Natural sweetener (raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar)

Fresh and/or frozen fruit

Seltzer, ginger beer and tonic water

And don’t forget about Tools of the trade:

You’ll also need a cocktail shaker, a jigger measure, a strainer, a bottle opener, a blender, a knife, a small cutting board, a citrus juicer, a muddler and a copy of my book: Zen and Tonic.

Q: Best way to store drink ingredients?

A: Fresh fruit, herbs, and citrus are best kept cool.

Infusions and homemade syrups are best kept refrigerated, as are vermouths and aromatized wines.

Spirits can be kept on shelves at room temperature with no issue.

Q: How do you come up with your drink and cocktail recipes?

A: I’m heavily inspired by nature. I’m always looking to different herbs or medicinal flowers for inspiration; and of course flavors and textures in culinary creations.

Q: What is your go-to drink on a regular day?

A: I tend to favor low abv spritzes or a glass of wine.

Q: What is your go-to drink on a special day?

A: I love a classic negroni or better yet a Cardinale ( a negroni with the sweet vermouth swapped out for dry vermouth

 

You can find Jules on social media: @julesaron

And you can find all four of her books about holistic cocktails and happy hour on Amazon.