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Cocktail Hour Cleansing with the Master Cleanse Tini


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.




anonymous coward

i like to talk shit

anonymous wimp

I can't take criticsm


Criticsm is cool. I'll leave any criticsm on the blog as long as 1) you leave your real email address 2) you leave your real name



Sake in a cleanse? I think not. Alcohol is a mycotoxin. IOW, it is a toxin. Period. You will not cleanse your body by consuming alcohol. Not that wine and other undistilled, unpasteurized fermented beverages don't have an occasional place in a healthy diet. But to suggest you will cleanse with it a joke. Maybe it is a joke, or maybe I misunderstand. I totally agree that the original Master Cleanse sounds gnarly with the salt chaser. But imo if you want to cleanse this spring, take freshly made juice only for a few days to take the stress and toxin load out of the body.


Here's to beautiful women like Sarma that are up to interesting things.

You know WLIR got your back! That's how we roll and that's why the Clenase Tini is one of Pure Food & Wine's best selling martinis.

I'd drink to that.


Oops, I didn't mean to suggest that one should/could/would actually cleanse with sake. This was originally written after we (Rebecca and I) had read someone else's slightly sappy and somewhat sanctimonious blog post somewhere about the Master Cleanse, and her coming up with the cocktail from it and my putting it on the menu is just our way of poking fun at the rather harsh cleanse with the funny name and anyone who takes it or themselves too seriously. For what it's worth, I totally agree about the few days of fresh juices being the way to go, but... different people need different things for different reasons at different times. And many people do rave about the Master Cleanse. Then again, people rave about colonics too. Probably because they're both so much fun.


This is too funny that you have made a "master cleanser 'tini"!

Im about to embark on my first Master Cleanse next week. I finished reading the booklet and decided to give it a go. As you say the "lemonade" sounds good and I assume Ill like it, however the salt water flush might prove a challenge. But then again Ive had two kid's all natural so what else in the world could top that?

If only we COULD cleanse with a 'tini! Im sure 99.9% of the people who read that knew it wasnt meant to be a real cleanse.

Have one for me, Ill be thinking of it while drinking my salt water!


I think the "cleanser-tini" is such a fun idea! Oddly enough I am on Day 4 of The Master Cleanse - all day long I pretended my lime-cayene pepper drink was a "tini" and it made it more fun!

I need to cleanse out toxins to prepare myself to go back to raw eating. I was raw a year ago - and fell off the wagon - but now I am back on the track of glow - health - vitality - weight loss ... all the wonderful benefits of raw!

I love this website - it gives me motivation each day.



I just did a 4 day fast, and once I started dreaming of food, I decided it was time to eat. I love trying new things, but I don't think I could do the MC. You get an A for trying!

I want to get up to New York to try the "McTini" (kind of an oxymoron to McDonalds which tries to clog you body of toxins instead of cleaning your body of them).

Take care, Sarma!


MC Fanatic

I have loved ones who have done 40+ days of MC. These will probably not think is funny, but then again, that kind of cleanse really does loosen up the humor organs, so we'll see. Personally, I think if you're gonna drink, you should drink. If you're not, you shouldn't. The midground is some kind of illusion imho.

MC Lover

Gnarly salt water alternative....
A laxative tea each night! I found this much more to my liking, and was able to do a longer version of the MC this way, too. It is well worth it!!

Good luck!!!!


I have tried the Master Cleanse and I was only able to do it for 2 days...I think. Anyway, since I am new to raw I now think I would like to try it again. This time I will only commit to 5-6 days...with my short attention span 10 days sounds to looooooong. I will be in NY this summer and I look forward to trying your restuarant out.

Michael George

I've done the master cleanse for 2-3 days a few times without doing the salt flush. I felt great and could feel a slight cleansing affect. How is the salt flush prepared? Someone commented on how alcohol is bad for you while cleansing. I've heard our bodies create a small amount (I think 1-2 oz) of what would be considered a vodka. Some raw peepz add a small amount of pure vodka into raw bloody marys. Organic sulfite free wines aren't bad for you either, unless you're a lush. Keep Rawkin'!
michael george

aimee in canada

perhaps i am late to the game here; incidently (sanctimoniously) i have completed ten days of the master cleanse. i work in a french restaurant that serves mighty savoury foods along with premium beverages in beautiful glassware. as i was sipping what my coworkers referred to as "jungle juice" it came upon me, the idea to enjoy this lemony beverage in a martini glass, just to change it up a bit eh? i have the intention of stealing your idea now. thank you.



I just did the master cleanse for 3 days and I went through different stages, from loving it to hating it. I felt awesome in the first 2 days. Really light and healthy. I religiously did the salt water flushes for 4 days and although alarming you get used to the effects and you can literally SEE that it's doing you good! I had to start eating today (the 4th day) because I am working and I was dreaming of food so much I thought it was affecting my concentration. What I didn't account for is how difficult it was to start eating again. Almost everything gives me stomach ache, so I've got to take it really easy for a few days. Fruit and veg in small amounts only. I CAN'T WAIT until I can have some bread or a flapjack!
I wonder what these people who do the full 10 days (or more) do for a living. I think my boss would be having words with me if she saw I hadn't eaten anything solid in 10 days. There's no way that can't affect your concentration in some ways. Unless you hate food to start off with I guess.
As for the MC tini, fab idea, but I don't think you'd catch me drinking one after 3 days on that stuff. Gone off lemons entirely!

michelle kimball

It is interesting reading all the comments about the master cleanse! Just like eating raw food, I think it requires a whole new way of thinking, and we all have habits that are hard to break. I am still learning how to do raw food (and thanks to you, Sarma, with your amazing book, I'm getting better at it).
I'm on the MC cleanse now, and first started doing it about 20 years ago. From the very beginning it made me want to go on a raw food diet (and I made a few unsuccessful attempts), but it has taken me until now to really do that. I did the Master Cleanse for 40 days last year with no difficulty (my husband is today on his 30th day) , but it has taken me 2 decades to go through all the mental barriers we put up! It's so old hat now. So easy and so wonderful. The salt water flush seems easy also. I don't understand why anyone would want to do a colonic when you can just drink a quart of warm salt water and receive the same effect more easily. Of course there are some definite guidelines to make it work easily and effectively (like don't drink it so fast that it will make you want to throw up, and a few others). And you have to want to do it. I've heard lots of excuses for not doing the lemonade diet and salt cleanse, but it really is simple and effective and purifying, like eating raw food!
Sarma, I would be interested in knowing what your detox for heavy metal tonic is. I was tested for mercury toxicity and was very high. Have done some chelation, which had serious side effects. (And I have heard about chlorella, cilantro and MSM for removing mercury.) Best Regards


I've done the MC a couple of times. Both times having great results! The salt water bath [swb] is pretty difficult but if you vist the MC forums you can get a lot of information aswell as support from people currently on the cleanse. What I do is 16oz water+uniodized salt and 16oz water right after. Total of 32oz water+uniodized salt. Some people even put the salt and some water in a 'shooter glass' and chug the rest of the water after. The best thing about the SWB is that you can do it anytime you want even if you're not on the MC. I tend to do it after I've had a night/week/moment of pigging out - I'd hate to let all that crap sit in my body so I flush it out! Best of luck to everyone who seeks out healthier ways to live!


Where's Sarma!!!! I love this website and I visit it daily, but I will have to say that my favorite thing here are the post from Sarma. I have her book and have read it cover to cover over 5 times, which is unheard of for me, especially with a cookbook. She is inspirational and I want to see her here again. Please post soon. Thanks.



Sarma's been a little tied up recently, because business is going so well, but I'm sure after she reads your note she'll be encouraged to post very shortly.

Thanks for the love

Sarma's had two kids, did I read that wrong? The post was posted march 30 by SARMA up above.


No, IVE had two kids.

Sorry bout that, got a little confused.


Sarma, Please Please makes more posts. I have been interested in raw foods for a few years now but your book and website and posts are what gets me excited about being raw and seriously motivated.

what is that liquid called that removes heavy metals?

you are an inspiration, by the way.

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