Starlight and Starbright

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Chicago bartender Julia Momose a Williams Sonoma Chefs’ Collective member and Food and Wine magazine’s Best New Mixologist of 2016, is equally enthusiastic about traditional cocktails and those without any alcohol, which she likes to call “spiritfree.” “There is something lighthearted and intentional about the name ‘spiritfree,’” she says. “I do not want to serve, nor do I want to be served, a mockup of a beverage or an attempt at a cocktail. I want a proper drink! Something made with care and thoughtfulness, that takes into account the ingredients, balance, technique and, most of all, the person for whom the beverage is made.” In this pair of drinks with a savory twist, you can have it either way. The Starlight is a spiritfree drink, while the Starbright is made from the same ingredients but with the addition of your spirit of choice. If you’re serving a crowd, prepare a large batch of the Starlight base in a carafe so you can easily assemble either drink for guests, as they prefer.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Servings 1


For the Starlight and Starbright:

  • 2 ice cubes made from pineapple juice
  • 2 regular ice cubes
  • 1 1/2 oz. (45 ml) orange-carrot juice
  • 1/2 oz. (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz. (15 ml) simple syrup
  • Splash of Fever-Tree Ginger Beer

For the Starbright only:

  • 1 oz. (30 ml) your spirit of choice (Julia recommends Ki No Bi Kyoto Dry Gin, Dolin Blanc or junmai sake)
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters

For garnish:

  • 1 long, thin ribbon of rainbow carrot
  • 1 carrot frond
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig


Place the pineapple and regular ice cubes in a small tumbler. Add the orange-carrot juice, lemon juice, simple syrup and ginger beer to the glass. If making the Starbright, add your spirit of choice and the Angostura bitters. Stir gently to combine. Garnish with the carrot ribbon, carrot frond and thyme sprig and serve immediately. Makes 1 drink.

Recipe courtesy of Julia Momose, Chicago, IL

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