Introducing Aronia Berries, the new super food + recipe


Some of the ingredients in this post were provided by Melissa’s Produce but the opinions expressed here are my own.

Melissa’s Produce is always on the lookout for the newest trends in produce. The new super food on the horizon is Aronia Berries. They are dried and sweetened with apple juice, not sugar. The dried berries can be tossed in cereal, granola, trail mix, or eaten just as they are. These dark berries pack a hefty dose of antioxidants. An article by Medical News Today lists possible health benefits of aronia berries, also known as chokeberries.

Tasting notes: Aronia berries are reminiscent of blueberries, but with a slightly different flavor. When soaked, they give off a beautiful deep purple hue. I can see these used as Melissa’s describes and/or added to baked goods like muffins and even pancakes. They could also be used in a savory sense with venison and pork. And going a bit further, infusing it into cocktails (see below).

The flavor of aronia berries inspired me to make a cocktail – Aronia Berry Gin & Tonic. This cocktail will require some preparation before you are ready to serve as the aronia berries will need to steep in gin for a week and a day to freeze berries inside of ice cubes. The dark purple hue of the gin will mesmerize you and then the tonic will tantalize you taste buds. As the ice cubes melt, the plump aronia berries will be released and packed with jolt of gin.

Aronia Berry Gin & Tonic by OC Food Diva
Serves 1

Aronia Gin:
1 cup gin
¼ cup Melissa’s Dried Sweetened Aronia Berries

Aronia Berry Ice Cubes:
Strained Aronia Berries from gin
Water

Tonic:
4 Aronia Berry ice cubes
2 oz. tonic water
1 oz. aronia gin
1 oz. Melissa’s Lemon Juice
½ oz. Melissa’s Organic Blue Agave Syrup
Mint garnsh

Directions:
1.      To make aronia gin, place aronia berries and gin in a jar. Let it steep for a week. It should be a dark purple hue when complete.
2.      To make aronia berry ice cubes, strain aronia berries from gin. Reserve gin in jar for later use. Fill ice tray with water and place 3-4 aronia berries in each cube space. Freeze overnight.
3.      To assemble tonic: Place 3-4 aronia berry ice cubes in a single rocks glass. Pour 2 oz. of tonic water on top. In a shaker, combine aronia gin, lemon juice, and agave syrup. Shake for 10 seconds. Pour atop tonic water. Garnish with mint leaves. Serve immediately.

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