WE love when we can combine a business trip with a little pleasure, and recently we got a chance to rush off to Vancouver for a little business mixed with Joy time.  Unfortunately, when we travel the window for socializing is pretty small, and we only got to spend a little time with Joy and her beau Jens.  We were really excited to spend some time with Joy and to finally meet the famous Jens.  We were not disappointed.  Cute, funny, social, very admirable and can get his drink on!   All wonderful traits don’t you think.

After dinner, Jens introduced us to a proper Irish pub where he further introduced us to a drink made with beer and Ribena. Ribena?  This was new to us, and we were really intrigued.  Jens continued to educate us on this new-to-us and mysterious beverage.  Come to find out Ribena is a non-carbonated, fruit based juice, that originates in the UK.  Most commonly it is made with blackcurrants and is sold as a concentrate;  very syrupy.  A bonus is that is it high in vitamin C!  Jens proceeded to share with us how it was delicious in beer, as well as other cocktails.  After that conversation, I could not want to get my hands on some of this magically Ribena.  The next day, I ventured out to find it.  I searched high and low, and finally I found it in at all places … the drug store.  I could not wait to get home and pour the deep black syrup over some chilly ice cubes.

We had a week of rather balmy weather in the city, which was the perfect excuse to get our cocktail on.  In honor of Joy and Jens, we made these cocktails using the Ribena and their poison of choice, vodka.  You may think this sounds like a vodka tonic but with the added black currant and heavy splash of lime, it takes a tonic to another place.  Not overly sweet but rather refreshing.  It was hard to stop after just one.

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Recipe:  Joy and Jens
  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. ribena
  • tonic
  • ice
  • limes
Put some ice cubes into a cocktail glass.
Layer the ingredients to make the presentation WOW.
Gently pour the Ribena over the ice, then the vodka and finally slowly pour the tonic on top.
Use a gentle hand and pour slowly to create the layers.
Squeeze half of a lime over the top.
Garnish with a lime slice.
Serve.
Drink.

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