Beets are one of the first things I get planted in the garden every year. Depending on the variety, they’re ready from seed to table in about 60 days.
While we mostly associate this versatile vegetable with its deeply hued taproot, did you know the leaves are also edible? As they grow to maturity in the garden, I enjoy clipping the leaves for fresh crisp salads and quick stir-fry dishes.
The roots of beets can be enjoyed raw, boiled, steamed, roasted, juiced, or pickled. But what about in a cocktail? We enjoy fruits, flowers, and herbs in cocktails so why not the humble beet?
When I started experimenting for this cocktail, I tried a few different techniques. First, I muddled slices of fresh beet like you would fruit or herbs. There was a nice earthy flavor but I knew I could do better. Next, I roasted the beets and the result was better but it was missing something. That something turned out to be the familiar flavor of pickled beets that I knew would be perfect in cocktail form.
Bingo! Beet shrub. Perfection!
Shrubs are old-fashioned drinking vinegars that are making a big comeback in handcrafted specialty cocktails. These vinegary additions are usually made with fruit, vinegar, and sugar and can be used deliciously in cocktails, sparkling sodas, and salad dressings.
I especially love this Sweet & Spicy Golden Beet Shrub Cocktail for its earthy and savory notes.
Sweet. Spicy. Refreshing. Perfect.
- Golden Beet Shrub
- 5 medium golden beets, tops removed, scrubbed clean, and diced
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- ½ cup white vinegar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pickling spices
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
- premium vodka
- chilled seltzer
- To a blender, add the beets and vinegars; process until puréed.
- Using a rubber spatula, press the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a non-reactive container with a tight fitting lid (a canning jar works perfectly). Discard solids.
- Add the sugar, pickling spices, and salt to the beet-vinegar liquid. Stir to combine, seal with lid, and let sit at room temperature for a day.
- Strain liquid through a fine mesh strainer and refrigerate liquid in a sealed container until ready to use.
- For each cocktail, muddle a few slices of the jalapeño pepper in a cocktail shaker. Fill with ice and add 2-ounces of the golden beet shrub and 2-ounces premium vodka. Shake well and strain into a chilled ice-filled glass. Add seltzer to fill the glass and garnish with additional jalapeño slices.
If you love beets, be sure to check out these Easy Pickled Roasted Beets!
Did you know you can dye eggs for Easter with beets? Well you can and I show you how to here ==> How to Naturally Dye Easter Eggs with Everyday Pantry Items.