BlueSky Business Aviation News

Paula Kraft, founder and President of Atlanta, GA-based Tastefully Yours Catering.

Salad in a glass: Iíll drink to that!

hen I have free time I read. Generally not novels because my free time comes in short bursts - so I would never finish them - but articles, food news, research papers on anything I can get my hands on. I love learning.

Recently I stumbled upon a news article on Medicinal Mixology said to be the latest food trend to hit the culinary beverage world. It took me by such surprise I felt I just had to share it with you. Said to be the latest, hottest, greatest new trend to come up in a long time . . . Drink your salad! Yup, you heard me right! Since people around the world donít get all the necessary nutrients on a plate and many find those nutrients might be better if taken with a wee bit of alcohol, this trend of drinking your salad has appeared.

My first instinct to the news was that we, as caterers, need to learn how to prepare the base for these drinks; how to muddle kale leaves or how to create not just the Bloody Mary base for a flight, but to make it with arugula as well. The caterer in me questioned what is a normal serving, how will I package it, how will I keep it cold, not even giving thought to how on earth do I find the recipe. Are there schools to teach this? Or do we just get to take a creative guess on what should be in the cocktails?

This new trend - to explain it a little better - is mixing cocktails using salad ingredients; Salad ingredients such as lettuce, kale, arugula to name a few, to use ancient herbs, roots and blooms. Ok, so I do love my Bloody Mary.

It has a bit of salad, it has tomato, celery and horseradish but I'm not sure I would want to taste muddled kale and gin together . . . It seems ( at least for the United States) that this is one of the more bizarre trends that begin on the west coast of California. Shall we call this one bizarre?

I have to say the drink concoctions do look tasty, but where in the world does the idea come from? For those of you who like to indulge in a cocktail or two, here is a proven reason why having a cocktail is really good for you . . . it is much easier to take than a vitamin pill and more fun! A University of Texas study showed that one to two cocktails a day could increase longevity, and infusing them with curative ingredients can improve immunity and alleviate many ailments.

This really does give a new meaning to the hot toddy we have used for the common cold and flu bug for centuries? How about a new cocktail to beat the common cold, lower your blood pressure, fight the flu, relieve stress or cure impotence?

The new wave of drink lists will now possibly all include some combination of peas, fennel, kale and wild arugula, a bitter ingredient that has made the leap from the salad bowl to the bar in a big way.

How about a drink combination of gin, snap-pea syrup, lemon, champagne, and Swedish herb bitters. If you're drinking this, I would say you can guiltlessly skip the side salad and order the desserts instead. This could be an alternative to the Mimosa and since it is healthy, you could have more of them.

I noticed one cocktail named a Green Goddess which was made with with chamomile-infused vodka, lime juice, cucumber juice, jalapeno (talk about feeling the warmth of a drink going down!), and wild arugula syrup, which is made by blending simple syrup (heated sugar and water until the sugar dissolves) and arugula and straining the pulp.

When I saw this one, I wondered if I was to make the chamomile-infused vodka or if this was one of the newest flavored vodkaís to hit the world market?

Another recipe created a cucumber and arugula gimlet made with (you guessed it) muddled arugula from the garden or farmerís market, plus lemon, simple syrup, and organic cucumber vodka. Can you imagine the pantry requirements to fulfill passenger requests for these drinks?

Not to be outdone, the almighty kale uses fresh kale juice in a new cocktail, as well as gin, elderflower liqueur, agave syrup, and soda water. Does elderflower liqueur come in a mini? I couldnít resist passing along these recipes I found in my new issue of mixology magazine for you to sample.

Beat a Cold

The Cure: Goldenseal extract, which Native Americans used to treat digestive ailments and skin problems, has anti-inflammatory properties that may improve immunity and digestive function and help curb cold symptoms.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 oz Banks 5 Island Rum
  • 3/4 oz Plymouth Gin
  • 1 tsp Luxardo Maraschino Originale Liqueur
  • 1 tsp cane-sugar syrup
  • 6 to 8 drops Herb Pharm Goldenseal Extract

Combine ingredients in a rocks glass over ice and stir for 30 seconds. Garnish with grapefruit zest.

Lower blood pressure

The Cure: This reimagined daiquiri contains E3Live algae, which may reduce blood pressure and promote energy, focus, and immunity.

The Ingredients:

  • 1 pinch of Lime Fresco salt
  • 1/4 oz algae thawed at room temperature (try E3Live)
  • 1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz evaporated cane syrup
  • 2 oz Plantation 3 Stars Rum

Combine ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a lime twist.

Fight the flu

The Cure: While Varnelli Amaro Sibilla is no longer used as an antimalarial drug, its high concentrations of gentian, a bitter herb, and quinine, an alkaloid found naturally in cinchona-tree bark, may still reduce fever, curb pain, and ease digestion.

The Ingredients:

  • 1Ĺ oz Rittenhouse bonded rye
  • 1 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quina aperitif wine
  • 1/4 oz Varnelli Amaro Sibilla
  • 2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Stir 40 revolutions and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange peel.

Relieve stress

The Cure: With a generous supply of amino acids, essential fatty acids, and vitamins, the bee pollen in this drink may suppress your appetite, increase your energy, and help you decompress.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Aylesbury Duck Vodka
  • 2 dashes of Green Hour Immunity Tincture
  • 1/2 tsp bee pollen
  • 1 oz pink-guava juice
  • 1/2 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup

Combine all ingredients in a shaker and add ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a slice of guava and a pinch of bee pollen.

Avoid impotence

The Cure: The tiny celery seeds in this paloma-like drink reportedly improve erectile function, and they've been shown to possibly decrease cholesterol and blood pressure in animal studies.

The Ingredients:

  • 2 oz Olmeca Altos Tequila Blanco
  • 3/4 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 oz celery-seed syrup (Boil 2 cups water. Remove from heat and add 2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup celery seeds. Allow to cool and strain.)
  • 1 dash of Scrappy's Celery Bitters
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 oz soda water

Combine ingredients and shake well. Strain into a double-old-fashioned glass over ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a lime wedge.

I donít know who is pushing these recipes harder - producers of alcohol or exotic salad greens producers, or simply a magazine writerís imagination. Anyway, this is food - er, drink - for thought. Perhaps this too shall pass.



Let me introduce myself . . . 

My name is Paula Kraft and I am founder and President of Tastefully Yours Catering, an aviation specific caterer, located in Atlanta, Georgia for over 35 years.

Aviation Catering is a science not taught in Culinary School; itís a function of experience, experimentation, basic trial and error, with constant feedback from flight crews and clients. It is a two-way communication. It is vital that this information and knowledge be shared throughout the industry. To this end, I have worked as the Chairman of the NBAA Catererís Working Group, a subcommittee of the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee, the NBAA Caterer Representative to the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee, for 9 years. 

Currently I am an active member of the NBAA Flight Attendant Committee Advisory Board and the NBAA International Flight Attendant Committee, Women in Corporate Aviation, Women in Aviation International, National Association of Catering Executives, International Flight Catering Association, the International Food Service Association and the International Catererís Association.

I have coordinated training programs and clinics for NBAA and EBAA conference attendees for over 10 years, created mentoring programs for caterers and flight attendants to broaden their aviation culinary skills, and to assist them in adapting to the unique challenges and constraints found in catering for general aviation. I recognize the need for training and have worked closely with flight departments, flight crews, schedulers and customer service reps at the FBOs to ensure that catering specific training provides information and skills necessary to reduce risk while assisting them in their job duties that include safe food handling, catering security, accurate transmission of food orders, and safe food production, packaging and delivery.

I fell into aviation catering quite by accident. I was the in-house caterer and bakery supplier for Macyís department stores in Atlanta when catering was ordered for a Macyís customer which was soon to change my life. After the client enjoyed the catering provided, I was summoned to the clientís corporate office to provide several of the items delivered through Macyís to the executive dining room. Within a week, I was providing food for the flight department and my first order was for the President of a foreign country (as I was too be told soon after). So, here I am, some 35 years later, still loving every minute of every day in aviation catering.

Got a question?

Paula welcomes your comments, questions or feedback


©BlueSky Business Aviation News | 3rd August 2017 | Issue #427
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