Updated: 6 days ago
When asked to come up with a Halloween cocktail, I normally fall to the traditional holiday flavors -- pumpkin, apple, candy corn, chocolate, etc. But, I wanted to do something a little different. Here is AZ, beets are coming into season. The rich, earthiness coupled with the deep violet, magenta colors makes this an awesome fall-time cocktail. And nothing can compare to the color - the rich, deep magenta is perfect for the holidays.
When using beets in cocktails ... first thing to note ... it's going to get a little messy. Wear gloves and don't wear anything that you don't mind getting stained, especially if you've never used beets or juiced them before.
Ideally, a juice extractor is the best method for juicing beets. You'll get the cleanest flavor and it's the easiest method. Another method is the blender. Chop them into quarters and roast for about 30 minutes to soften a bit. Place in a blender cup and add a little water then blend on high until pureed. (Add just enough to allow them to blend up.) It won't be as concentrated and the quantities in the cocktail recipe will need to be adjusted accordingly.
Which beets are the best?
There are a wide variety of different beets. The red beets are best for the color, however, they are not so great as garnishes. There are some fancier heirloom beets that are striped and make beautiful garnishes, especially when dried. You can also use some beet leaves as garnishes as they are edible and can come in a variety of colors and striations that are gorgeous. (See image above.)
What spirits go best with beets?
Personally, I love using tequila and mezcal with beet juice. The earthiness of the beets play so well with the grassy agave flavors. Gin is also a good spirit to use as the botanicals can lighten up those strong earthy aromatics and the heavy mouthfeel. And, of course, vodka, which goes with everything.
1.5 oz reposado tequila
0.5 oz mezcal
0.75oz creme de framboise
0.75 oz honey syrup
0.75 oz lime juice
1 oz fresh beet juice
Garnish: beet leaf and/or dried beet chip
In a cocktail shaker, combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish and serve.
NOTE: This cocktail CAN be batched and I highly recommend batching it for consistency and to avoid lots of beet juice spills which can be ... well, colorful, to say the least.
Click here for a how-to video on making the Beetlejuice cocktail.
NOTE: This cocktail was originally published in Edible PHX magazine. Click here for that full article as well as the "Heart Beet Mary" recipe.