Beetroot Cocktails

Words by Jane Ryan

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Whether you roast it whole, blend it, make a shrub, muddle it, make a syrup or juice it, beetroot is low in fat, full of vitamins and minerals and packed with powerful antioxidants, and makes for an unusual cocktail ingredient.

Beetroots offer an incredible flavour but they are also quite dominating and tend to steal the limelight in drinks. If you're after a cocktail dominated by beet then the regular beetroots work brilliantly. However, if you want other flavours to have a chance to shine opt for small beetroot, often known as baby beets, as they have a particularly delicate flavour. It's also best to steer clear of beetroot larger than 6cm in diameter as they tend to have a tough woody core.

Another option is golden beetroot, which used to be popular in the nineteenth century, and is currently enjoying a revival in upmarket restaurants. It has a more subtle flavour than regular beets and doesn't leave any stains. It's also a great way to play with the senses if people can taste beetroot but can't see the tell-tale purple colour.

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A versatile ingredient which is quite naturally sweet, it works well with tart ingredients such as oranges, apples and peppery horseradish. Dehydrated beetroot can be a powerful garnish, carrying vegetal aroma notes without changing the taste of the cocktail. To see this in play head to London's Mondrian Hotel in the Rooftop Bar where the Lyan partners Iain and Ryan have created a sour using this exact garnish.


One of the best ways to extract beetroot's flavour is juicing it raw. The fresh juice is easy to control and makes for a thicker mouth-feel.

Whiskey Mist
By Chris Inglis.
Glass: Martini
Method: Shake ingredients over ice and strain into Ardbeg rinsed glass.
25ml Monkey Shoulder
25ml Cherry Marnier
25ml Cocchi Torino
25ml Beetroot juice
2 dashes Chocolate bitters

Bax Beet Pinot
By Matthew Bax
Glass: Wine glass
Method: Shake ingredients over ice and strain into glass.
20ml Fernet Branca
15ml Martini Rosso
15ml Beetroot juice
15ml Lime
30ml Simple syrup

3 Beet Drop
By Dr. Philip Gandevia
Glass: Stemless wine glass dusted with icing sugar
Garnish: Tarragon leaf and grated nutmeg
Method: Shake ingredients over ice and strain into chilled glass.
30ml Beetroot
40ml Cognac
15ml Pedro Ximenez
15ml Tarragon and white chocolate liqueur
1 egg

Golden Beat Down
By David Hamilton Boyd
Glass: Coupe
Garnish: Beetroot disc and cinnamon dust
Method: Shake ingredients over ice and strain into chilled glass.
50ml El Dorado 3
75ml Golden beetroot juice
12.5ml Vanilla syrup
12.5ml Lemon juice

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Beetroots can be muddled roasted or raw: for cocktails raw is often best as it gives a vegetal note whilst retaining that important fresh palate.

Swedish House Beet
By Michael Stringer
Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Lemon twist & mint sprig
Method: Muddle beetroot in a cocktail shaker and add cubed ice. Add all ingredients apart from the cider. Shake ingredients hard and double strain into glass. Top with cider.
2 slices Beetroot (raw)
20ml Fresh lemon juice
10ml Gomme
30ml Courvoisier VSOP
6 Mint leaves
100ml Rekorderlig Apple

By Rob McHardy
Glass: Martini
Garnish: Lime zest (discard) and ground pepper
Method: Muddle fruit and leaves, add and shake the remaining ingredients. Double strain into chilled glass.
40ml Blanco tequila
20ml Green Chartreuse
3 Small chunks beetroot
3 Rasberries
3 Coriander leaves
5ml Acacia honey
5ml Lime juice

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