Ladies! Lovely friends! I have a new cocktail recipe to share with you and I'm super excited to hear your thoughts. I developed this Carrot-Beet Juice Shrub recipe for a vinegar-spike cocktail post I wrote for Good Housekeeping this week—eeks!—and it turned a test kitchen full of veggie-cocktail skeptics into believers. Here's the thing: I've been on a carrot and beet juice kick lately. I'm so not a juicer but I've been sipping the Kool-Aid so to speak, in place of a second or third cup of coffee, thanks to this spooky article. Anyway! Here we are a few weeks later and the beet-carrot combo is my new favorite thing ever. So why not add booze to it?
Vegetable cocktails have been around for ages but it seems like the majority of drinkers in NYC are just discovering them now. Worthy of note: the Cool Hand Cuke from Colonie near us in Brooklyn (cucumber juice, cucumber vodka and mint syrup), the Lechuga from Booker & Dax—LOVE!—(gin, lemon and Bibb lettuce) and some cocktail with carrot-caramel that brilliant Shiraz Noor of Aska dreamed up that I can't remember the name of now! (Shiraz, a little help?) My point is, veggie-cocktails are fabulous and super interesting. Quickly about shrubs: In the colonial era, shrubs were essentially just fruit and/or spice–spiked vinegar syrups that people would mix with brandy or rum. For this Carrot-Beet Juice Cocktail, I created own shrub using beet juice, carrot juice, white vinegar, sugar and water. It's earthy and subtly sweet, just like carrots and beets—duh! The shrub will keep in the fridge for about a month. Make a batch and use it for impromptu cocktailing (or just mix with seltzer for a vitamin-packed treat)! Here's how you do it...
MAKES: 1 cocktail (plus more vinegar)
FOR THE VINEGAR
1/2 cup beet juice
1 cups carrot juice
1 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
FOR THE COCKTAIL
2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Ginger ale or lemon-lime soda
Carrot ribbons, for garnish (optional)
1. Bring 1 cup water, the vinegar and sugar to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Add the remaining 1 cup water, the beet juice, carrot juice and chill at least over night.
2. Put 4 ounces Beet-Carrot Shrub and 2 ounces gin in an ice-filled cocktail shaker 30 seconds or until cold; strain into an ice-filled glass and top with seltzer. Garnish with a carrot ribbon, if desired.
3. For each cocktail, shake 1/4 cup Beet-Carrot Shrub and 2 Tbsp. gin in cocktail shaker with ice; strain into an ice-filled glass. Top with ginger ale.