Put Some Spring in Your Sip
By Tom Long / Fiddlehead Contributing Editor
A spring tonic? Just what the doctor ordered. That is, if the physician practiced in 1819.
Back in the day, it was thought that a spring tonic concocted from the season’s first greens would cure a handful of minor ailments, not to mention cabin fever and the winter blahs.
The Oxford Dictionary defines a tonic as a “medicinal substance given to increase vigor or well-being,” though New Englanders of certain age apply the term to soft drinks.
Dandelion tea was the preferred option for many. The beverage was made by steeping the plant’s dried roots to prepare a restorative potion. The early-blooming flowers were prized and were often grown in herb gardens.
Mixtures made of rhubarb and sassafras were also thought to perk up consumers. Some swore by something as simple as a shot of maple syrup.
There are many fine recipes for healthy and modern-day spring tonics you can make at home (see sidebar). But for those of us who prefer that others prepare our restorative libations, there are plenty of local restaurants, cafés and juice bars in New Hampshire offering modern takes on the bracing, healthy drinks.
These are just a few of the local brews that will help you spring ahead:
Laney & Lu, 26 Water St. in Exeter, devotes a section of its menu to wellness elixirs and tonics including the High Vibe, said to “activate your bliss receptors” with blue spirulina, Maine Hemp Company full-spectrum CBD oil (10 mg), hand-squeezed grapefruit juice, coconut water and fresh rosemary infusion.
Live Juice, 5 South Main St. in Concord, has a wide selection of heathy drinks, including the aptly named Spring Fling, with pineapple, spinach, cilantro, banana, mango and lime that will instill vernal vigor.
The apothecary-themed décor at Restoration Café, 235 Hanover St., Manchester, is a perfect setting for its “Dr. Tom E’s” juice tonics and “snake oil” smoothies, including the Green, with cucumber, celery, kale, spinach, mint and lemon. And any of the café’s smoothies can be enhanced with the addition of egg-white protein, hemp protein, spirulina, flax seed or yogurt.
Also in Manchester, at 775 Canal St., is The Green Bike Smoothie Bar, home of the Protein Power Pack Smoothie made with cold brew coffee, coconut milk, hemp and whey protein and almond butter, blended with cinnamon, natural vanilla, banana and organic coconut nectar.
The Queen City’s Bridge Café, 1117 Elm St., offers The Detox at its juice bar, which includes apple, beet, cucumber, celery, lemon and ginger to help rid those winter colds and flus.
The Juice Bar in Derry, 11 Manchester Road, serves a selection of fresh juices and smoothies that will get you up and running, and the same can be said for Thrive Juice Bar in East Hampstead.
Terragia, 100 Main St., Nashua, has a selection of fruit smoothies, including the acai pomegranate with acai, strawberries, banana, pomegranate juice and agave — for an extra dollar add a boost of spirulina, chia seed, Moringa, flax or hemp seed.
Jucilicious, 22 South Broadway, Salem, offers a cornucopia of juices and smoothies sure to please, including the Better Get Your BETA, a golden juice mélange with orange, carrot, apple and turmeric.