The farm-to-table movement isn’t just about what’s on your plate; it’s also about what’s in your glass.
Veggies are making there way into cocktails, and if you have some leftovers from the garden, you shouldn’t let them go to waste. Here are a few ways to make your beverage a little more in line with the food pyramid. While vodka may not be on there, vegetables certainly are, so get mixing!
This root vegetable is an unlikely candidate to use in an excellent cocktail. But once you have a beet-based beverage you’ll want to mash up a few of these red veggies in every one of your libations. Take a few cooked beets and muddle them into the shaker when you’re mixing up a traditional negroni. Use two ounces gin with an ounce sweet vermouth and another ounce campari, don't forget to throw some of these veggies in. Be sure to strain it – while the flavor of beets will certainly add to the tasty quotient, if you wanted to chew them you would have a salad.
There are two traditional garnishes for a gin martini: olives or a twist of citrus. Savvy bartenders have moved beyond the standard options and started slicing cucumbers to bring out the botanicals in the spirit. This veggie imparts a nice bit of freshness into the drink. It also soaks up a bit of the booze, providing an edible treat (with a kick) when you’ve polished off the glass.
Want to add a little spice to your margarita? A red bell pepper is an easy way to elevate this cocktail. Make a typical margarita and muddle two thin slices into the mix before you pour it. The pepper will cut the sweetness of the lime by offering a savory kick – it doesn’t hurt that this veggie pairs very well with tequila.
No one can argue that tomato juice doesn't make up the base of a tasty Bloody Mary. But, if you want to take your hair of the dog up a notch, a normal beefsteak or cherry tomato just won’t do. You’ve already covered those bases with the juice, so grill your tomato before you put it into the glass. The little bit of char adds a lot of smoky flavor to your drink, and the grilling process softens the tomato up–making it even easier to use when you’re behind the bar.
Want to go all bugs bunny with your cocktail (enter your own “What’s up Doc?” joke here)? For this one, you’ll need a juicer (or you’ll have to buy some carrot juice at your local market), but you won’t be disappointed when you sip this orange delight. The earthiness of carrots goes very well with ginger, so you should use a ginger liqueur whenever you want to make a cocktail that a bunny would like. Mix one part Canton, another part carrot juice and two ounces gin and you’ll have a beverage that would make a good start to the day – mostly on the mornings that you’re having brunch.
Want more veggie fun?