If you ever watched Doug, then you know: Beets are “nature’s candy.” We couldn’t agree more with the vested, wispy-haired cartoon character. Sweet, savory and earthy, with the ability to dye anything that they touch bright pink, beets are pretty darn magical. And as Ardi Dulaku—head bartender at SaltRock Southwest Kitchen in Sedona, AZ—shows, they’re pretty great in a cocktail, too. He created this lip-smacking libation, which mixes vibrant beet juice into a gorgeous, flavor-packed take on a Gin & Tonic. “Beets are great because they’re so versatile in flavor—sweet, earthy and jammy,” Dulaku says. “Their sweetness pairs well with the bitterness of grapefruit and the botanicals in the Aviation Gin, such as juniper, lavender and cardamom.” Dulaku adds a touch of lemon juice for acidity and brightness and finishes the whole thing with Fever Tree Tonic to make a refreshing, spritzy delight.
Raw Beet Syrup
1 oz Raw Beet Syrup
.75 oz Lemon Juice
1.75 oz gin
.25 oz Grapefruit Cordial
- Add beet syrup, lemon juice, gin and grapefruit cordial to a mixing tin with ice.
- Shake vigorously and strain into a Collins glass over ice.
- Top with tonic and garnish with cubed beets.
Raw Beet Syrup
20 oz beets
20 oz Sugar
- Combine beets and sugar in a container that is filled close to the top and let the sugar extract the juice and flavor from the beets for four days. Strain and enjoy.
- The leftover beet pieces make a great garnish or snack!
- Zest the grapefruit, reserving the zest, then juice the grapefruit.
- Weigh grapefruit juice, then measure out an equal weight of sugar.
- Combine juice and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add grapefruit zest, stir, cover and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- Strain cordial through a cheesecloth-lined strainer.