Birthday Booze: Tamarind Maple Tonic

Would you believe I have to travel on my Birthday? Boooooo!!! Well my sweet Nelly always knows how to make me feel better….with booze of course!! While the cat is away the mice will play, but just don’t have TOO much fun while I am gone! I hope you enjoy this gorgeous cocktail as much as I did!!

Nelly is someone who I truly adore and look up to.  She is my dear friend, and I love that we both have a birthday’s in January!  Soooooo…. prepare for a fun birthday treat for a special someone coming VERY soon!

Enjoy, and please take a moment to stop by Nelly’s Blog, her site is beautiful!


Nothing makes a birthday girl happier than a splash of booze in her drink, and I know my friend Terra  loves three things: greek yogurt, grilling, and booze! And since we are both January babies, I decided to share with her readers a deliciously Caribbean drink with a touch of New England and a splash of intoxicating vodka. – Marnely from Cooking with Books

How fun is it that both Terra and Tamarind start with the letter T? Twice the fun indeed! Terra and I met somewhere, somehow – only, in a tweet chat and instantly connected. I consider her one of my best friend’s from the virtual world (and actually, also the real world!) and we can go without talking for a month and suddenly just call each other and talk about everything from brownies to travel!

Now, back to this recipe! Tamarind juice is close to my heart because I grew up seeing my Dad makes huge batches of it for us. A common Dominican wives tale about Tamarind is that it will induce sleep, so now I know why my Dad would have gallons of it – to put us to sleep early! But seriously, tamarind also has some fantastic health benefits (not a health practitioner, just sharing some online research found here!):

  • Tamarind has multiple benefits as cathartic, febrifuge, antiseptic and refrigent.
  • Tamarind is used as an Ayurvedic medicine for gastric problem, digestion problems and cardio protective activity.
  • Tamarind leaves are used in herbal tea for reducing malaria fever.
  • Tamarind lowers cholesterol level in the body and helps in promoting healthy heart.
  • Sore throat is treated when gargled with dilute tamarind pulp.
  • Tamarind protects from Vitamin C deficiency.
  • Being a good source of antioxidants, tamarind helps fight against cancer.
Now with all those great benefits, I decided to add a few of my favorite ingredients from Wholesome Sweeteners and voila, this drink is created! Cheers to Terra’s birthday!

Yields 1

Birthday Booze: Tamarind Maple Tonic

A tart and sweet drink to celebrate birthdays with a Caribbean feel!

5 minPrep Time

45 minCook Time

50 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


6 ounces tamarind juice
1 tablespoon Wholesome Sweetener Agave Syrup in Maple
1/2 ounce your favorite vodka
to decorate: Demerara Sugar and Agave Syrup


First, a note on tamarind juice. If you can't find the juice at the grocery store, you can order tamarind paste online. Stick the paste in 6 ounces of water overnight in the fridge and then simmer for 15 minutes. Steep and cold for about 30 minutes and strain. Use this as your juice.

To make drink: prepare glass by placing some agave syrup on a plate and sugar in a small bowl. Dip the rim of the glass in the syrup and then the sugar, done!

In a shaker, mix tamarind juice, agave syrup, and vodka. Pour in glass with ice and serve. Cheers!

Cuisine: Caribbean | Recipe Type: Drinks


Here’s to wishing Terra an amazing birthday filled with great food and surrounded by people she loves (both in the real world and the virtual world!) Happy Birthday my friend, I love you!

Awww, you always warm my heart Nelly!  This seriously makes my birthday the best day EVER!!!  Love you too, my sweet friend!!!

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  • Betty Ann @Mango_Queen
    Happy Birthday, dear Terra! This Tamarind Boozy drink is perfect for you. Wish I lived closer, I'd bring you some appetizers to go with this. Here's to many more 'Happy Birthdays'! Hugs & enjoy :-)
  • Happy Happy Birthday Terra! =D Hi Nelly! Your Tamarind tonic sounds great! I have a Tamarind tree in front of my house whose giving a good amount of seed pulps. I feel like experimenting a bit in the future and tonic is a great idea!
  • The Squishy Monster
    Happy Birthday! This looks like one fine way to celebrate =)
    • Thank you so much, and thank you so much for stopping by!! The drink does sound pretty fantastic, Nelly ROCKS!!! Take care, Terra
  • Happy birthday, Terra! Wishing you a sweet day! xo :)
  • Happy Birthday my dear friend :D Cheers CCU
  • Happy Birthday my darling girl!!!!! This drink looks GOOD! Cheers!
  • This morning I really need some ENERGY!! This drink would be perfect!! Greetings from Tuscany!!! :-) Simona
  • And Happy Birthday, too!!!
    • Thank you so much!!!! I have a feeling this drink would give loads of energy for sure:-) Hugs, Terra
  • I have never tried tamarind juice...the tonic sounds and looks delicious. Happy Birthday!
  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I'd love to sip on that! Especially this coming Sunday since it is my birthday! :) CHEERS! xoxo
  • kitchenriffs
    I use tamarind concentrate a lot in Indian cooking, but that's about it. So thanks for opening my eyes to a new use for it. I'll have to look for the juice. Great cocktail! Happy Birthday!
  • The Café Sucré Farine
    Such a pretty photo! I've had tamarind but never the juice, something new to try. Thanks!
  • [email protected]
    Happy Birthday! What a lovely drink to sip on! I'll have to save this for post-baby. Thank you for sharing with me. This post, along with my cup of hot chocolate, is making for a very lovely Thursday morning. Have a great weekend!
  • Such a fun post and fab drink from Nelly! How in the world did I miss your birthday??? Happy, happy, happy belated birthday! Sending lots of good wishes and hugs your way!!! xo
  • mjskit
    Happy Birthday to you both - Terra and Nelly! Tamarind is something that I never would have thought to put in a cocktail. However, you make it sound extremely interesting and quite tasty! You've definitely peaked my interest. I might just have to try this. Enjoy you Birthday month girls!
  • Being from MA, you had me at maple. Loving Latin America, you had me at tamarind! HAPPY birthday my friend! And yes, drink up :D
  • Hotly Spiced
    Happy Birthday Terra! I love a drink on my birthday too - and anyone else's birthday! I love tamarind too and cook with it quite often. It has a lovely sour taste xx
  • Jennie @themessybakerblog
    Happy Birthday!!!! This looks like the perfect drink to celebrate with.