The Incredible Hulk in a glass


The Bride and I were dining at Paiche, an excellent (and highly recommended) new restaurant in Marina del Rey, whose menu offers several intriguing non-alcoholic concoctions. As designated driver that evening, I recused myself from their wonderful wine list, but I wouldn’t settle for fizzy water as my sole potable, so I selected a drink they call The Incredible Hulk. [Cue the ever-litigious Disney (who now owns Marvel Entertainment), likely into its third draft of a cease-and-desist order; by the time you get to the restaurant, it may be called The Bruce (or David) Banner, or something else entirely.]

The Incredible Hulk consists of five simple ingredients: parsley, cactus, orange juice, pineapple juice, and celery. [Here’s a mnemonic for the ingredient list: CC POP.] Living as I do in the Los Angeles area, rounding up some cactus (known at the Mexican grocery store as nopales) was no big deal, and the rest of the items are available anywhere. I kinda cheated and bought pineapple juice and orange juice, rather than making them myself from fresh fruit, as I suspect the restaurant does. I revved up the old Vita-Mixer and ground up six large celery stalks, a pound of chopped nopales (do NOT buy the pickled version or the ones packed in brine for this!), and a bunch of curly parsley with the bottom inch of the stems removed.

Incredible Hulk sits on stove top without fear

Incredible Hulk sits on stove top without fear

I’ve discovered that adding a citrus juice (or any acidic juice) to cactus juice causes foam to rise more or less immediately, so don’t worry if that happens; you can skim it off or discard it. I just mixed it back in. I prefer my juice a little “greener” than the one Paiche serves, so I used less of the orange-pineapple juice blend than they do, but you can experiment to find your sweet (or not-so-sweet) spot.

Looking for vodka in all the wrong places

Looking for vodka in all the wrong places

1 bunch parsley
1 pound nopales (cactus), chopped
6 large celery stalks
32 oz. orange juice
32 oz. pineapple juice

Blend greens and a little bit of the orange and pineapple juices (mixed 50-50) in a Vita-Mixer (you’ll need a pretty powerful blender or food processor to deal with the pulpiness of the celery and nopales) until smooth. [You will likely have to do this in two or three batches.] Strain if you wish (I didn’t). Pour half a glass of the greens mixture into a glass with an equal amount of orange-pineapple juice. Stir and serve over ice. Go on rampage. “Hulk smash!”

A refreshing glass of the delicious beverage

A refreshing glass of the delicious beverage

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