Each week, we seek out unique drinks made on Martha’s Vineyard, and a bit about the people who make them. Times intern Naomi Pallas is on the lookout for non-alcoholic beverages, while intern Ben Williams finds creative cocktails. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Cacao Kapow from Blissed-Out
Tired of that big Slurpie? If you were to walk into Blissed-Out Organic Juice and Smoothie Bar on Main Street in Vineyard Haven, you could check out the eccentric decor and a smoothie menu that includes parsley, spinach, and raw cacao next to the traditional fruits and juices used to make the cold, blended drinks.
When asked which of the many smoothies they recommend, owners Fred Natusch and Jennifer Oliver took no time to decide: The Cacao Kapow, a drink that has been known to pull customers back in for more. This particular smoothie is a blend of dates, coconut, banana, blueberries, cacao, bliss nut-milk, and spinach. The “Cacao” is the chocolate bean in its pure form, and the “Kapow” comes from its original bitterness, made sweet with natural sugar from the dates.
Every ingredient at Blissed-Out is natural and organic, Island-grown when possible, Mr. Natusch and Ms. Oliver said. They keep the customers’ health in mind with the addition of spinach because, as Mr. Natusch said, “because people don’t get enough greens during the day.”
Another healthy addition is their homemade almond-based nut-milk.
For those who are put off by drinking spinach in a smoothie, don’t worry: the other ingredients mask it well. The drink looks like a dark chocolate milkshake and tastes like chocolate and banana with a sweet hint of coconut and nuttiness from the milk. The pieces of cacao bean add a satisfying crunch to the otherwise smooth concoction.
Sangria at Zephrus Zeafood & Grill
Homemade sangria is featured as the summer drink of choice at Zephrus Zeafood & Grill on Main Street in Vineyard Haven.
Zephrus makes their sangria with fresh fruit that they let sit together for 12 to 24 hours. After straining out the fruit to prevent the drink from fermenting too far they keep the drink ready in glass containers on the counter alongside their array of eight beers on tap, four of which are made in Massachusetts.
It is Zephrus’s third summer serving beer and wine. They got their permit shortly after Tisbury voted to allow beer and wine sales as long as they are served with food. “We’ve had no issues since we started serving beer and wine, and all of our staff is trained and certified,” said manager Josh Goldsein. The restaurant is open from 11:30 am until close seven days a week.
Zephrus varies the fruit they use, which includes berries and apples that they mix to make two batches, one with red wine the other with white (sangria blanca). Sangria is served on ice with a garnish for $7 a glass.
“Sangria just needs a warm day, it’s a classic Spanish cocktail,” said Mr. Goldstein.