Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sugar Beet

Some folks pickle their leftover vegetables.  Some nerds (like myself) turn them into liqueur instead.  I've made a surprisingly effective sweet pepper liqueur in the past, but this one might be one of the most successful:

16 oz vodka
1 oz honey
1 medium diced red beet

Combine in a mason jar; macerate and shake daily for 10 days and store in the fridge.  Try the end result on its own - it actually takes like real

Here's a recipe making prime use of this wonderful stuff:

1 oz London Dry gin
1 oz beet liqueur
1 oz bianco or blanc vermouth
3 dashes Angostura bitters
3 drops celery bitters (I love Bitter Truth's version)

Stir over a large ice cube in an old-fashioned glass (I keep everything chilled to facilitate this without excessive dilution).  Garnish with a shaved beet slice if you have one handy, or just sip if you don't.  Try not to spill this on the carpet because beet juice will stain like crazy.


Sorry for the gap - we're in the middle of moving, job transitions, helping with friends' weddings... It's been a busy few weeks, without much time for mixology.

About three months ago we bought a juicing machine, and I've found that it makes an excellent tool for using up produce that's on the verge of going bad.  The problem is that (as recently stated by a friend) is that then you have to drink the stuff.  I myself prefer to get around this issue by combining it with delicious, delicious booze.  Which probably offsets any health or nutritional benefits gained from the stuff, but there you go.

Combining vegetable juice with beer or cider turns out to be a surprisingly effective way to make it very palatable while accentuating its natural flavor.  Here are a couple very successful riffs on the concept - give them a try, you might be surprised.

1 oz bourbon (nothing fancy, I used Four Roses)
1 oz fresh carrot juice
1/2 oz lime juice
1/4 oz pineapple syrup
~3-4 oz dry alcoholic apple cider

1 oz London Dry gin
1 oz fresh beet juice
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/4 oz cranberry syrup (or grenadine, but I think of this as fall/winter grenadine)
~3-4 oz dry alcoholic apple cider

1 oz bourbon
1 oz fresh beet juice
1/4 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz pineapple syrup
~3-4 oz India Pale Ale (any brand, really; I forget what we used)

For all of the above, shake the first 4 ingredients, strain over fresh ice, then top with the cider or beer and gently stir.  Feel free to play around with other variations; we certainly did.  I think we tested just about every variation of the formula:

1 oz spirit (bourbon or gin)
1 oz veggie juice (beet or carrot)
1/4-1/2 oz lemon or lime juice
1/4-1/2 oz pineapple or cranberry syrup (less if using cider or lighter beer, more if using bitter beer)
3-4 oz beer or cider

A couple dashes of whatever bitters you like in these don't hurt either.