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Protecting yourself, any way you can

Samuel Wagner
Flu Shot Cocktail
Samuel Wagner/Aspen Times Weekly

This past weekend was supposed to be the annual pub crawl for the Apres Ski Cocktail Classic, an excellent opportunity to write on local bartenders and some interesting creations.

That didn’t go as planned.

With much of the town at home, or at least taking precautions for the sake of others, I was left to my own devices on finding a drink that fit the strange time we find ourselves in.

In times of stress, I personally find humor and levity makes the time pass. In that vein, enter the flu shot cocktail.

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First off, some non-professional medical advice: This drink can’t take the place of an actual flu shot, or medication in general. As well, if you haven’t already, getting a flu shot is still beneficial to your health as long as it can be done safely.

However, the flu shot cocktail, packed with fruity and herbal flavors and real orange juice, is a great immune booster. And it contains alcohol.

A few ingredients can be a bit involved, but are easy to make. Simple syrup can be made by simmering equal parts water and sugar, and throwing a few sprigs of rosemary adds in herbal notes. As well, the original recipe I found called for orange blossom water, which I changed to a homemade concoction of orange peels simmered to create a bitter, but not overpowering, citrus oil.

Overall, the drink comes together with a full orange profile of citrusy, bitter and sweet, and the rosemary syrup is lighter than expected but leaves a nice herbal aftertaste.

While the flu shot cocktail is an unlikely vaccine against, well, anything, it can be a delicious way to experiment with homemade drink ingredients as well as a way to make sure you have some vitamins in a time where it is certainly recommended.

Flu shot cocktail recipe

3 ounces of orangecello
½ cup of orange juice (fresh-squeezed is best)
1 ounce of rosemary simple syrup
¼ ounce homemade citrus oil
4 dashes of orange bitters

• Combine in whiskey glass and stir well. Garnish with an orange wheel, or a sprig of rosemary.
• Peels from two oranges lightly simmered in a cup of water for ~15 minutes to draw out the oils

*Slightly adapted from http://www.foodookitchen.com/food/2015/11/5/flu-shot-cocktail


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