Local Flavor Inspiration – Summer is in full bloom and it’s time for picnics, garden parties and grilling out. The garden and farmer’s markets are bursting with fresh produce and it’s the perfect occasion to celebrate the abundance with drinks that highlight local, seasonal ingredients. Here is a recipe for a refreshing beet cocktail perfect for cooling off on a summer evening.
It was a hit at Plywerk founders, Kim and Kjell’s, community garden nights at the Mallory Farm last season and is eagerly awaited this summer. Our friend tbird shared her recipe which features her homemade beet-infused vodka. If you are a member of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), chances are you have plenty of beets in your share right now! Or look for organic beets at the farmer’s market or natural foods store. Red beets result in a jewel-tone infusion but you could experiment with golden beets or other sweet veggies, berries or fruits. Make the infused vodka ahead of time and have it on hand for when the moment strikes. A non-alcoholic version could include orange sparkling water or kombucha.
Tasty garnishes for this drink could be orange mint, a thin strip of rhubarb with the red peel, a young beet leaf or an edible flower like calendula.
Beet and Blood Orange Cocktail
Beet infused vodka (see below)
Blood orange soda
Mix ingredients in desired proportions, serve over ice in a chilled Collins glass.
Garnish with a sprig of mint and a thin orange slice, or search your garden for creative garnishes.
Beet infused vodka
-Dry roast beets in a shallow baking dish in the oven for 30-45 min. at 350 F.
-Peel beets and cut into quarters if they are large.
-Place beets in a large jar with the peel of an orange and add vodka to cover.
-Remove orange peel after one day and store in a dark, cool place.
-Steep vodka for two weeks to a month, depending on desired flavor.