By Stasia DeMarco
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Healthy cocktails might sound like an oxymoron, but at the upscale bar and restaurant Square 1682, adjacent to the Hotel Palomar near Rittenhouse Square, it’s reality.
Square 1682’s Chef Guillermo Tellez is known for heading up one of the greenest operations in the city, both in front- and back-of-the-house. So it only made sense that he and his bar staff expand on the ever-growing movement for healthier menu options by adding more of them to the bar menu, too.
Why these “wellness” cocktails are truly healthier is due to the removal of that nasty thing called simple syrup, a bartending staple. It’s now banned from behind this bar.
“We stay away from processed sugars and replace them with raw sugars, like really nice maple syrups, pure maple syrups,” says Tellez.
Now, to take the health angle one step further, Chef Tellez, who has diabetes, says that wellness cocktails are a MUCH healthier option–especially for a diabetic.
“We try to be conscious with the amount of sugars and what kind of sugars we use at the bar. We use a lot of natural juices…when we talk about diabetics and drinks like this, anything in moderation is great.”
One of Tellez’s specialties? The Blue Sage.
“It’s rich. It blends a really good tequila. It’s got blueberries, coconut, palm sugar…”
Or how about a Bumpkin?
“There is something about vodka and pumpkin; they go together very well. We use soy milk, and we use cinnamon sugar. When blended, it is very light.”
Of course, no one can hear about a healthy cocktail and not wonder whether that elixir may offer some slimming benefits too. While Chef Tellez can’t stress moderation enough, he says yes, there are also less calories.
“The more sugar you drink, the more it converts into fat. So yes, in the perception that you are drinking something healthy, perhaps you will gain a little less weight.”
It appears the wellness menu has something for everyone.
Listen to the extended interview: