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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Blood & Soil: a cocktail

And now for something completely different:

It’s an experiment I've been meaning to do for a while: a martini-style drink using a cocktail beetroot as garnish.  I wanted the liquid to be essentially clear, so that as you drink it, you could see the colour bleeding out of the beetroot.  At the same time the ingredients have to work with the earthy, sweet quality of the garnish, so that they fit together as a whole.

Here’s what I came up with:
Blood and Soil
A Cocktail for the Adventurous


First prepare the glass with half a very small baby beetroot, speared on a cocktail stick and placed so that the cut edge rests against the glass (for the sake of the photograph I used a glass at room temperature, but otherwise I’d prefer a frozen glass). It’s important that the beetroot hasn’t been marinated in loads of vinegar: either plain cooked or with minimal dressing - here I’ve used Waitrose lime zest infused baby beetroot.

To a shaker with 4 cubes of ice add:

  • 2 shots of Chase Smoked Vodka
  • 2 shots of Ophir gin
  • 1/4 bar spoon of Yellow Chartreuse

Shake until thoroughly chilled, pour very gently into the glass and serve.

The picture here was taken about a minute after the pour and as you can see the root is already producing layers and swirls of colour.  By the time the cocktail was half consumed it was a uniform dark pink, at which point I ate the garnish: the whole thing worked very well and would make a great party talking point.

The smoked vodka compliments the spicy Ophir gin perfectly to give an earthy, almost savoury drink, while the small touch of Chartreuse is enough to add a herbal complexity and take the edge off the dryness: a good match with the sweetness of the beetroot.