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An imperfect life guide for women

Mom says there’s no such thing as Cleanse-tinis…

by Jacqueline Segal

…Especially since the name itself might sound redundant. But who says we can’t mix business with pleasure?

After the holidays, there are many of us who can’t possibly stomach the thought of another themed drink, and another snack-y, high-cal food. Coming back to work this morning, post-New Year’s Eve hangovers, the air carried many low rumblings of “no more,” “never again,” and “I’m on detox…’til next week.”

And detox we shall…but everything in moderation, of course.


The Cleanse-tini

This cocktail is modeled after the “Master Cleanse” developed by a Mr. Stanley Burroughs, a researcher of disease and “toxemia.” I’m sure there are many of you who have tried the mixture: water, with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper.  This concoction is meant to allow a cleansing and rejuvenation of the system. We’ve spiced it up, serving it cold with vodka. Hot works too, but I’d replace the shot of vodka with a warm shot of sake. It’s roommate approved, and a lovely excuse to invite some pals over with an agenda for detox, even however cleverly disguised it may be. 

For each Cleanse-tini, you’ll need:


  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1tsp dark honey
  • pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tbsp warm/room temperature water
  • 1 shot of vodka

In a martini shaker, dissolve the honey in warm-ish water. Add the lemon juice, cayenne and stir. Shake over ice for half a minute, strain into a martini glass and enjoy. Garnish with lemon, if you’re feeling fancy. 

To serve with your ‘tinis…

Party artichokes

I’ve loved artichokes for years, but I had no idea they had such valuable medicinal qualities. (Blind love, I suppose.) ‘Chokes’ are best known for supporting the liver and gall bladder while boosting detoxification and digestion. Herbalists recommend patients take them for their diuretic properties —helping relieve water retention and high blood pressure. Globe artichokes have also been known to reduce levels of LDL, also know as “the bad cholesterol.” My, my…busy aren’t they?!

When buying artichokes pick the ones that seem heavy for their size…don’t ask me why. Just trust. 


  • A large artichoke is perfect for one. Buy as many as you have guests coming over—grab one or two extra, if they’re plentiful. You can always eat them cold when you get back from a late night or while watching reality TV way past your bedtime.
  • The water the ‘chokes’ simmer in can be seasoned with any combination of flavours you chose. We’d recommend smashed garlic and a pinch of salt. Lemon juice works well, as do broth seasoning and dried spices and herbs. 

Wash artichokes under cold running water. Cut off stems at base and remove small bottom leaves. Stand artichokes upright in deep saucepan large enough to hold them snugly. Add 1 teaspoon salt and two to three inches boiling water. (Lemon juice, herbs, garlic powder or onion powder may be added right about now-ish, if desired.) Cover and boil gently 35 to 45 minutes or until base can be pierced easily with fork. Adding a little more water to the pot may be necessary, depending on how strong you simmer. When taking them out of the pot, turn artichokes upside down to drain. Serve warm, or leave to cool and refrigerate, if you’ll be snacking on them later. Peel off the leaves, and dip in to the sauce of your choice before sliding the tender artichoke meat off the bottom of the leaves. 

In keeping with the detox theme, the sauce we suggest is be a simple lemon and olive oil vinaigrette:


  • 1 part lemon
  • 1 part olive oil
  • a tiny dollop of Dijon or grainy mustard, or honey—if you like it sweet
  • finely chopped shallot
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

*All of the ingredients above follow the rules associated with a detox diet, but we just like how they taste, however healthy they may be.

With New Years resolutions only a few days behind us, there’s virtually no guilt when indulging in these treats. Snacks and martinis that cleanse—virtuous, no? 

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