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Makin' it with Maren: Mixology Made Easy. A Cocktail Blog.

The L.A. Winter Cocktail: A Low-Cal Vodka Press with Cucumber, Dill and Mint.

By: Maren Swanson • February 12th, 2015
L.A. Winter Cocktail #vodka #vodkapress #recipe #lowcalorie #cocktail  @lovehappyhour

So the temperature in Los Angeles is going to be in the eighties ALL week. Can you believe that? Not that I'm complaining, it's just that my closet is in total disarray because this L.A. weather is so fickle. I was actually supposed to head to New York City two weeks ago, but our flight got cancelled because of all the crazy blizzards going on throughout the East Coast. Instead of having a week vacation in the other side of the country, I was stuck here in L.A. with this beautiful weather. Oh, well, I ended up making the most of it (sarcasm) with my new L.A. Winter Cocktail. This drink is delicious, low-cal and refreshing and it fits my warm weather mood in the middle of this Los Angeles "winter."

When it's sunny and bright in L.A. I really try and make it a point to hit the Farmer's Market. Now, normally certain herbs, vegetables and fruit aren't available this time of year, but where I live, the word "seasonal" is used loosely. I'm lucky enough to get fresh produce and lots of ingredients year round - woo hoo! Anyway, to lighten things up a bit I created this cocktail by making it press-style. A vodka press is make with vodka and equal parts of soda water and Sprite or 7up. This style of cocktail makes the drink less sweet and saves some calories, plus I used Sprite Zero, so we eliminated a lot of calories!

L.A. Winter Cocktail #vodka #vodkapress #recipe #lowcalorie #cocktail  @lovehappyhour

I originally made this cocktail with simple syrup, but if you don't have simple syrup, it turned out equally great and with some great subtle pink color when I substituted raspberry preserves instead. I muddled some Persian cucumbers, dill and mint together with lemon and lime juice and I ended up loving the flavors - so fresh. Dill in a drink? Heck, yes! You can enjoy this recipe all year and don't be afraid to try switching different flavored vodkas for some flavorful fun. Don't forget to check out my video recipe for this drink on my YouTube channel: Maren Swanson. Cheers!

L.A. Winter Cocktail

L.A. Winter Cocktail #vodka #vodkapress #recipe #lowcalorie #cocktail  @lovehappyhour
(makes 1 cocktail)


  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 3/4 oz of simple syrup
  • 1/3 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 oz fresh lime juice
  • 2 cucumber slices
  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1 sprig of dill
  • Sprite Zero
  • sparkling lemon water
  • ice


    1. Add cucumber slices, mint and dill to your Cocktail Shaker and muddle until cucumbers are broken up well. Add vodka, fresh lemon and lime juice, simple syrup (or 3/4 teaspoon of raspberry jam) and ice.

    2. Secure shaker top on your tin and shake for about 10 seconds. Remove top and use a cocktail strainer to strain the the drink over a tall glass of fresh ice.

    3. Top with equal parts of Sprite Zero and lemon sparkling water. Stir with a cocktail spoon to mix all ingredients together.

    4. Garnish with a cucumber wheel and mint and/or dill sprig (learn how to make the garnish from my YouTube video recipe!). Serve and enjoy!

    Follow me on Twitter: @MarenSwanson for more mixology tips!

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