Ibiza is famous for two things. Its parties and its sunsets. About its parties I can’t tell you much cause I still haven’t been to any, being the hardworking responsible momma that I am. Oh but its sunsets…. Well I could write a book or two on that subject. Now I must admit that growing up on the beautiful island of Curacao has spoiled me rotten when it comes to sandy beaches and sunsets. However Ibiza can definitely hold its own on the sunset front. Both the sun and the moon are local celebrities of sort around these parts. With parties being thrown for them by locals and vacationers alike. When on Ibiza you don’t take the magnificent spectacles Mother Nature has to offer for granted. You take time, alone or with friends, to experience and enjoy them fully. It’s one of the reasons why I like the island.
So in today’s post I wanted to consciously take time to celebrate the beautiful sunsets I have experienced on Ibiza. And what better way to celebrate than with a cocktail. Or mocktail if you want to be really specific about it, since this drink has no alcohol in it and the only high you will get from it will be a 100 percent natural one.
To be completely accurate this drink qualifies more as a smoothie than a cocktail being as thick in consistency as it is. I got inspired to make it as a welcome drink for the participants of the retreats I’ve been catering on the island in May. Our retreats started on a sunday. The day on which from the sixties onward a large population of hippies, tourists, families or just any one who feels like it, gather on beaches all over Ibiza to bid the sun a celebratory farewell. The festivities include lots and loud music, trance like dancing, fire spitting for the very brave, a fair amount of pot for some, good food and laughter for all. We often take our guests to enjoy this local tradition at Bennirras beach. And with the right percussionist on the drums I don’t mind getting my groove on on the dance floor myself either, as you can see in this post from last year. To get into the mood we toasted with this cocktail at the Villa before heading to the beach.
Ibiza residents work their asses off during the relatively short but super intense summer months. They make the money they need to pay for the bare necessities of life and save the rest to survive the off season. Many of them leave the island in autumn and winter to rest and get inspired at other spiritual places in the world. Morrocco and India for many years have been favourite replenishing spots for the Ibicencos, and the ever growing amount of artistic foreigners who have made Ibiza their home, to retreat to. And so it is that many Morroccan and Indian influences find their way back in the interior design, fashion, art and culinary scene of the island. Even the most typical looking tapas bar could have a vegetarian samosa on the menu. Driving along the roads you might suddenly see a road sign inviting you into a nearby restaurant to enjoy “the best couscous ever!”. So when thinking up this drink, besides the awe inspiring Ibiza sunset, I also had Morrocco and India on my mind.
I wanted a two colour drink that gave the impression of the golden sun sinking into the sea turning the sky aflame in hues of crimson red, orange and pink. So I made a base inspired by an Indian lassi of mango, orange juice, banana, ginger and lots of cardamom powder. The Morroccan inspired top layer was made of deeply red pureed cooked beetroot, local strawberries, coconut water, some honey and a good dose of fragrant cinnamon. Combine the two and voila, Ibiza sunset in a glass! As an experiment I also changed the colours around using the red smoothie as the base of the cocktail and topping it off with some of the yellow smoothie. Choose your pick and channel your inner artist to create your own “perfect” sunset.
I broke an Ayurvedic rule with this cocktail by mixing beetroot with fresh fruit, as officially you should not combine fresh fruit with other foods. But he, Ibiza is all about breaking the rules so I fit right in! If you feel inclined to stick to the rules you could substitute other red fruits for the cooked beetroot. But you won’t get that beautiful red colour. This drink is best for Vata’s because of the sweet and sour tastes it boasts and its thick consistency which is grounding for these airy types. Kapha and Pitta should just have this on special occasions, like when toasting on a exceptionally beautiful sunset.
- 300 ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/2 to 3/4 of a banana chopped in bite sized pieces (depending on how thick you like your smoothie to be)
- half a medium mango chopped in bite sized pieces
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of honey (or to taste)
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
Red top layer
- 1/2 a medium cooked beetroot, peeled and chopped
- 100 ml coconut water
- 4 strawberries
- 1 tablespoon of honey (or to taste)
- lime juice to taste
- dash of cinnamon
- 1 strawberry for garnish
Mix the base and top layer of the drink seperately in a blender until you have a very smooth consistency. Fill two glasses 3/4 full with the yellow smoohtie. Very slowly pour some of the red smoothie on top of the yellow smoothie. It will sink a bit but don’t worry about that. Some of it will drift back up as the red liquid is lighter than the yellow one. If you like you can gently swirl now with a knife or back end of a spoon to create a marbled effect. I like to leave that to my guests so they can decide for themselves what stage of the sunset they want to be drinking their cocktail in.
Cut the last strawberry in half and garnish the glasses with the two halves. Serve with pretty straws and an even prettier sunset.