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Cocktail Hour Cleansing with the Master Cleanse Tini

Posted Sep 14 2008 5:32pm


I am always surprised by how many people have heard of, or even themselves done, the Master Cleanse (herein after referred to as the “MC”) … What is it? Developed by a Mr. Stanley Burroughs, a researcher of disease and “toxemia”, the MC entails drinking, all day long for at least ten days, water mixed with lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. This concoction is meant to allow a cleansing and rejuvenation of the system. It doesn’t taste bad… in fact it’s quite refreshing and pleasantly spicy. The bad part is that each morning, you’re supposed to also drink a glass of water with entirely gnarly amounts of salt in it. It would not be wise to consume this just before running out the door, as it apparently causes everything to be flushed out within 30 or so minutes. I tried to do the MC once myself. I have this potentially dangerous habit of wanting to try everything. As I write this (actually revise ) I’m consuming a glass of water in which I added drops of a liquid that is supposed to remove all the heavy metals from my body. I also just noticed that I’m also at this moment listening to heavy metal… a potential conflict? Anyway. Maybe I’ll report more on the heavy metal experiment in an upcoming post.

My own MC experiment did not last long. My first (and only) salt-sludge water morning immediately made me want to hurl and I could not get it all down. I personally don’t like to force things on my body that seem very unnatural (here I go, contradicting myself all over place in this post and the last)… or particularly unpleasant. The lemonade drink part I could handle… again, it tastes good. Unfortunately, trying to do a fast of any kind in a restaurant like mine is not easy, and by the end of the night I was snacking on freshly cut pineapple from the juice bar. Oh well. I still don’t understand the name. MASTER cleanse. Anyway.

Some people swear by it. It has certainly received enough attention. A few people on the staff at our restaurant (who clearly have more discipline than me) last summer successfully completed the ten days. As we tend to have a very family-like atmosphere, some of us non-cleansers kept taking drinks from their special thermoses, quite liking this spicy sweet lemonade. What is the point of all this? There was a recent posting somewhere online about the MC – can’t remember where – that some of us were reading and found particularly funny. Anyway, I guess it was also a reminder of how much we liked that lemonade. A few nights ago, I was in our dungeon accounting office, sweating like a piglet, reconciling numbers like the nerd that I am, and my lovely and super-talented sous chef Rebecca comes over with a particularly pretty new ‘tini on a tray. We have a lot of cocktails on the menu at Pure Food and Wine. No hard liquor. They are all made with sake and/or sparkling wine and very seasonal. For example, in the fall, we get fragrant and freshly pressed concord grape juice from the greenmarket, add sake, pour it over ice, and call it Purple Haze. Having new cocktails unexpectedly brought over for me to taste is always a welcome surprise for me, particularly when I’m stressed out, which is more often than not.

So this drink Rebecca carried on the tray was a beautiful amber color, the martini glass rimmed with shiny amber crystals of date sugar. I asked her what it was and she said, “Try it first… then I’ll tell you.” So I did, and it was really good. Lemony-tart, sweet and with a spicy kick. WHY did it taste so familiar?? She said, “It’s a Master Cleanse-Tini!!!” Lemon juice, a touch of maple syrup, a pinch of cayenne, and of course… sake, shaken over ice and then strained into a martini glass. Brilliant. And so good. It’s a few days later now, we’ve added it to our cocktail menu, and I’ve just had three of them at the bar. This is Pure Food and Wine’s take on the MC. And probably as close as I’ll ever get to actually doing the MC again myself.

As always, come visit me at my nest.



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