As the weather heats up across the country, thoughts turn to dining al fresco. And, with many outdoor gatherings, cocktails are served...for better or worse! Frozen blended drinks, especially those served by restaurants, can be calorie-and-sugar bombs. Food dye, fruit juice cocktail, and six kinds of artificially flavored alcohol make for a nutritionally cringe-worthy beverage. But at home in the backyard, all it takes is a little flavor imagination for big impact with less caloric damage.

Kiwifruit has a one-of-a-kind flavor with big nutrition benefits. It can add tang and sweetness and lend a hand in providing fresh visual impact to a dish. For a clean cocktail I created a tropical blended fruit base with a blast of chill, but infused the vodka with spicy hot scotch bonnet peppers to create something truly unexpected.

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Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup vodka *
  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mango cubes
  • 2 kiwifruits, skinned
  • Water (to thin drink to preference)
Directions
  1. Infuse vodka by adding scotch bonnet pepper, pricked with a fork, to a lidded jar. Add vodka. Shake and place in a cupboard or pantry for one day. Strain the peppers.
  2. To create the cocktail: Place kiwifruit and frozen mango in a blender and mix. Once the fruit is smooth and combined, add the vodka and blend. Depending on personal preference and ripeness of kiwifruit, add small amounts of water to thin the drink and make it more sip-able.
  3. Garnish with sliced kiwifruit round on the rim of the glass.
Cooking Note: *For a virgin version of this cocktail, substitute coconut water for vodka. Store in the refrigerator during infusion.

This drink is like the angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. While frozen and frosty, after swallowing a slow burn creeps into your throat from the peppers. And while both the mango and the kiwifruit are nice and sweet, the spicy scotch bonnets foil their plans to make this cocktail a fruity and "girly" drink.

originally seen on and written for Food and Nutrition Magazine's Stone Soup Blog 

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.