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.  It was the first time meeting him, and we were not disappointed.  Cute, funny, social, very admirable and this guy can get his drink on!   All wonderful traits don’t you think?  It only seemed appropriate to name this refreshing summer drink after them, since it was inspired by the brief but wonderful encounter.    Hope you enjoy A Joy and Jens Cocktail as much as we do.


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 some in the drug store of all places.  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 upon our return, 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 blackcurrant 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.

In the US I have found Ribena over at Amazon as well as in Target occasionally. 

Recipe:  A Joy and Jens Cocktail


  • 2 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. ribena
  • tonic
  • ice
  • limes

How To:

  1. Put some ice cubes into a cocktail glass.
  2. Layer the ingredients to make the presentation WOW.
  3. Gently pour the Ribena over the ice, then the vodka and finally slowly pour the tonic on top.
  4. Use a gentle hand and pour slowly to create the layers.
  5. Squeeze half of a lime over the top.
  6. Garnish with a lime slice.
  7. Serve.
  8. Drink.

More Ribena Inspired Cocktails

Supermarket Sweep Cocktail

Crimson Crush

Mauled Cider



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