Happy Hour: Sláinte! Drink to Your Health

By Marcus Samuelsson |

The word Sláinte, a popular toast in Ireland, literally translates to “health”. With that in mind and St. Patrick’s daycoming up on Sunday, I thought I’d provide you with a green drink that did not involve beer or green food coloring, and even contains a super food ingredient that will leave you feeling refreshed, healthy, and oh so happy! (which may also be a result of the whiskey that’s in it.)

This super food ingredient is you guessed it, green, and is quite commonly used in pies and jams in Ireland. They are also popular in the rest of Great Britain, Nordic countries like Sweden, and throughout India. The popular ingredient I am talking about is the gooseberry. In India, gooseberries or amla, are typically taken in juice form as a means of attaining the fruit’s health benefits and healing powers, according to the findings and practices of ayurvedicmedicine.

 They are high in vitamin C content, help with food absorption, and packed full of antioxidants, fiber, and potassium. They are often used as an antacid, and contain high amounts offlavones (which gives them their green color) and anthocyanins (which become more apparent if left to fully ripen). These compounds have been found to have several health-benefiting effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases. So I guess what I’m trying to say is that these little bad boys are a delicious and excellently healthy addition to a St. Paddy’s day cocktail; a have your cake and eat it too, win-win situation.

If you cannot find gooseberries, or amla juice, gooseberry jam can be used, just omit the Agave nectar. Kiwis, also known as Chinese gooseberries, are another great green juice substitute and provide the same color, texture and sweet, tart flavor. Or try this green lemonade for a more vegetal, earthy twist! Whatever you choose, make sure to steer clear of that dreadful green dye!

Prep Details

Servings: 1

Calories per serving: 146 per serving

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes


1 ½ oz whiskey (or try scotch for a smoky twist)

2 sage leaves , 1 chiffonade; 1 whole

2 tsp agave nectar

2 cups green gooseberries, washed (should make 3 oz of juice)

Splash of Fever Tree bitter lemon, optional


Photo: Ashley Beck

1. Pour whiskey into a cocktail shaker then Agave nectar and chopped sage and muddle.

2. While that infuses, blend gooseberries until smooth (can even add kale for an even greener end result).

3. Then add ice and 3 oz. gooseberry juice to shaker, and shake vigorously until outside of shaker is frosted and ice slightly melted.

4. Pour into a highball glass. Then slap (or slightly bruise) the sage leaf and add as garnish. Optional: top with soda water or Fever Tree Bitter Lemon.