Updated: Mar 20, 2019
There was an episode in Mind of a Chef, one of my favorite food shows, where the chef was discussing something that was traditionally served as a sweet and changing the flavors to instead create something savory. This chef explained how there is a point where you can cook strawberries down to a point where they resemble the flavor profile of tomatoes. His eyes seemed far off and his tone took on a dreamy quality, one that is only possible by someone who is truly passionate about their craft.
The chef ended up creating a sauce with these strawberries that resembled a tomato sauce. Changing the traditional use for this sweet fruit. I was captivated. Could I do something similar, but maybe the other way? Taking something that was inherently savory or earthy and create something sweet?
I gave it a try with this cocktail created from beets and turned them on their head with citrus and honey to create a subtly earthy but refreshing cocktail.
Beet Me to the Punch
For Beet Juice
1 Small Beet
Juice from One Small Lemon
3 Sprigs of Dill
1 Tbsp Honey
1 C Water
2 Oz Raspberry Vodka
2 Oz Beet Juice
1 Egg White, Room Temperature
I am going to provide a little warning if you choose to make this drink. Please change out of any light colored clothing or anything you would be devastated to have stained. The color of this cocktail is absolutely breathtaking. Its color is so deep it honestly looks like a bottle of Halloween fake blood. Therefore it is a bit risky if you are anything like me and have the misfortune of spilling it everywhere.
I am not going to plague the recipe with the story of my downfall with this cocktail. The drink was delicious but I fumbled the shaker...more than once. So if you would like to hear that witty commentary please click HERE.
On to the recipe!
Begin by peeling and chopping your beets into ¼” cubes. Put them in a medium-sized saucepan with water and whole sprigs of dill and honey. Place on medium heat until it reaches a simmer then reduce the heat to avoid boiling the water out.
Cook for 30 minutes or until the beets are super soft. Soft enough to easily glide a fork through.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Try to be patient we don’t want to burn ourselves when we blend. If you have an immersion blended it can still be warm since you don’t have to transfer the contents to a blender.
In batches blend the beets in their water with the dill and add lemon juice. Pass the liquid through a fine mesh sieve to separate the pulp. Discard the pulp. If you need to you can add more water per batch to keep the blender moving.
Once finished, transfer the liquid to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator.
To make your cocktail you will want to make sure the egg is room temperature. I love drinks with egg white in them. I like that they have a bright citrus flavor and I like the mouthfeel of the foam the white creates.
I tried making them in the past and was never ever to get the towering level of foam I would have when I went to a good bar. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong. Instead of simply Googling it I reached out to one of the cocktail accounts I follow on Instagram and asked what the secret was. A user got back to me with a few great tips:
Your eggs need to be room temperature to enhance emulsification
The cocktail needs to have a high acid content
You need to perform a Dry Shake, shaking the drink with NO ice. Too much water will deflate the foam.
With these tips in mind, we are going to assemble our drink. First, separate the egg white from the yolk by either passing it through your fingers or the two halves of the shell.
Store the yolk for a different use and add the white to the shaker. To the shaker also add your vodka and beet juice. The lemon juice in the beet juice should be all the acid we need to create our foam.
Remember, don’t add ice! We will add a few cubes a little later when the foam has formed for only a few shakes.
Shake with no ice for at least two/three minutes. I know, it seems like a long time but the longer you shake the more time the foam has to form. After the dry shake, add about three ice cubes and shake again. This time do not shake for a long time, I only did about five motions before I called it quits since I was nervous I would deflate my foam. You can also store your vodka in the freezer to help keep the cocktail cold and avoid the ice altogether.
Use a cocktail strainer over the top of your shaker and strain the liquid through. The foam will sit delicately at the top of your drink. Since I had orange zest from the tomato tart I made for dinner I added a few pieces to the top of my drink as well as a beet chip that I dried at low heat in the oven.
Sip and enjoy!
Hear all about this adventure in Episode 5 of the My Tiny Cook Spot Podcast.