The Red Beet Rye Cocktail

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With the weather getting warmer, the season for the classic way to beat the heat, the shrub. Shrubs are a combination of sugar, fruit and vinegar that historically has been a way to preserve fruit and as a drink to help cool down. Last summer we tried our first shrub, a Honey Blackberry Shrub, which made us really appreciate the combination of sweet fruit and tart vinegar. The cooling effect of the vinegar in the shrub made it perfect for sipping on a nice warm night by our pool. Our first experience was such a success we ended up making the the blackberry shrub a number of times for our friends and family.

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We recently posted a picture of a bunch of red beets that we got from the farmer’s market asking what our readers thought we should do with them.  One of our readers, Pierre of Thistle and Vine Bitters, suggested that we make a beet shrub.  We both love pickled beets, so the thought of making a shrub out of our beets sounded like a fun project to try. We did a little research and came up with this Red Beet Shrub which has a earthy sweetness with just a hint of spice that makes this an intriguing layered flavor to add to cocktails.

We paired up the Beet Shrub with a bit of Templeton Rye, the tangy sweet of the shrub and the spicy caramel bite of the Templeton pairing up to make a delicious and beautifully colored cocktail. The Red Beet Rye is easy to make as a single drink or make a pitcher to share!

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Red Beet Shrub

  • 5 beets, cut into small chunks
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Add beets and 1/4 cup of vinegar to blender. Blend until pureed.
  2. Press puree through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
  3. Add beet juice and vinegar mixture, extra vinegar, sugar, peppercorns, salt and cayenne to a nonreactive container, we used a canning jar. Cover and allow to steep for at least one day. We let ours sit in the fridge for 5 days before using. It seemed to get the right peppery, sweet, smokey bite. Shake at least 1 time a day.
  4. When ready to drink, or use in a cocktail, place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl and pour through to remove solids.
  5. Bottle liquid and store in refrigerator.

Red Beet Rye Cocktail

  • 1 1/2 oz Templeton Rye
  • 3 oz Red Beet Shrub
  • 2 dashes Fee Brother’s Cherry Bitters (optional but adds a nice additional layer of flavor)

Combine with ice in a rocks glass. Salud!

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