I was excited to see this month’s Home Bar Awards theme of icy, New Orleans daiquiri-style cocktails containing beets. The first time I tried to make a beet drink, I fucked it up so royally that I wrote off the whole idea.
If I recall, I pureed a beet, shoved it in a mason jar with some cheap gin for the better part of a week, mixed it with shochu, and forced the wife to try it. She was unhappy.
I planned to return one day to the concept: the intense umami from shochu, and the sweet but savoriness of beets. Then I forgot about it, until now…
This isn’t exactly the most accessible drink and if I’m honest, a bit of a pain in the ass to make. I have gotten a bit enthusiastic about my alcohol collecting and ingredients making, so the drink had things that I already readily had in-hand, but it’s probably not true for 99% of the people out there. But the result is definitely worthwhile.
The drink involves two pre-prepped ingredients: beet juice and lime cordial. It also includes some rhubarb amaro: Amaro Sfumato, which isn’t all that common but I would highly recommend you get some. It’s as versatile for cocktails as Campari, and in most cases, I’ll prefer Sfumato to Campari. If you don’t have Shochu for this cocktail, however, I’d recommend subbing in vodka or more gin. It’s really hard to justify having schochu (a Japanese-style vokda in some sense) on hand. It’s not exactly versatile for cocktails, either.
- 1.5 oz London Dry Gin
- .5 oz Shochu
- .5 oz Amaro Sfumato
- .75 oz Beet Juice
- .5 oz Homemade Lime Cordial (see below)
Lime Cordial Instructions
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- In a blender…
- Grate a few limes to get 1.5 oz of grated lime peel. Should be about 3 or 4 limes.
- Weigh out 250 g of sugar.
- Measure 1 oz citric acid.
- Add 1.5 oz fresh lime juice.
- Add 8 oz of hot water.
- Blend on medium for about 30 seconds.
- Strain into a bottle or a container. To strain I just poured the whole thing into a cocktail shaker and double strained it a few times. After some tinkering, I now recommend straining first with a wire strainer, then if you have a nut bag, just use it as a sieve on top of a big bowl.
Tiki Mug, or Tom Collins glass with straw if you don’t have one
- Add all ingredients to blender with ice. Pulse a few times until the ice is small pebble size.
- Add to tiki mug, garnish with a beet on a toothpick, and serve with a cocktail straw. I had an awesome little plastic sword for some reason, so threw that in as well. Fuck it, it’s tiki! (TM)
- To make lime cordial, see this article.
- To make beet juice, add 2:1 beets and water to blender. Blend intensely, then strain through nut bag.
- Top with beet foam for extra credit. Beet foam made from 1/4 cup egg whites, 1 oz simple, 1 oz lemon juice, and 0.5 oz beet juice and charged in an ISI bottle
Re: the name, it’s from a class I Love Lucy skit: