By Anne Vorrasi
Apr 05, 2016 @ 6:30 pm
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Courtesy Lula Cafe

Healthy cocktails are all abuzz in the foodie world, and if you have a weakness for libations powered by fresh green juices or immunity-boosting spices, then you need to visit Lula Cafe in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. 

The man behind the food is Jason Hammel, who is lovingly referred to as “The Alice Waters of Chicago” for his long-standing commitment to serving local, market-driven dishes (it also just so happens that he gets an occasional visit from the celebrated chef Ms. Waters herself when she is in town). To wash it all down is an impressive list of liquid offerings, including the turmeric-centric libation below, curated by beverage director Diana Hawkins. 

When coming up with Lula’s Worst Behavior, Hawkins aspired to create a “boozy toddy with legitimate healing properties,” she says. After coming up with a hot and cold version for any kind of season, she then proceeded to name it after a Drake hit. “'Worst Behavior' seemed like an appropriate tongue-in-cheek description of what the drink offered,” says Hawkins. “It's boozy and stiff but with an ‘it's still good for me’ caveat.”

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What are those health benefits exactly? “Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent that’s been credited for helping to curb obesity, reduce diabetes, fight cancer, and protect against cardiovascular diseases,” says nutritionist Rachel Beller, who’s new book Power Souping was released last month ($16; “Just a pinch can have a huge effect in protecting your cells from some serious damage.” 

Too, "Gurtie's" spice blend (recipe below) can be used in more ways than one, so you’re going to want to make a vat of this goodness. Try stirring it into green tea with honey and lemon, or use it to punch up an Asian slaw or butternut squash bisque, recommends Hawkins. You can even use a dash to fortify your morning glass of OJ—way less cumbersome than trying to whip up a smoothie or fresh juice at the start of your day. 

Courtesy Lula Cafe

Lula’s Worst Behavior Cocktail: Cold Version


2.5 oz orange juice
0.75 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part hot water) 
0.5 oz lemon juice
1 tsp Gurtie's turmeric spice blend
1.5 oz mezcal or bourbon (you can also omit the alcohol) 


Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Shake, double strain into a rocks glass and garnish with marigolds. 

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Lula’s Worst Behavior Cocktail: Hot Version


1.5 oz bourbon
0.75 oz honey syrup (2 parts honey to 1 part hot water) 
0.5 oz lemon juice
Splash orange juice
1 tsp Gurtie's turmeric spice blend
Hot apple cider


Warm all ingredients except for cider in a saucepan over medium heat. Transfer to a mug and top with hot apple cider. 

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“Gurtie” Spice Blend 


2 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp ground fennel
Fat pinch of ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

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Mix all ingredients together.