We’ve seen our share of strange savory cocktail ingredients, from foie gras to Greek yogurt, on bar menus lately—so it was only a matter of time before vegetables found their way into our favorite drinks. From red bell pepper to roasted squash cocktails, here are six boozy concoctions made with veggies you might be surprised to find in your glass—plus a recipe you'll want to whip up all season. Really, is there a more irresistible way to up your veggie intake?
Pole Star Conundrum
Where: The Up & Up, New York City
What: Rye, cognac, bitter German digestif, orange juice, lemon juice, and red bell pepper.
How: With all those other assertive ingredients in the Pole Star Conundrum, you might have a hard time noticing the red bell pepper—but it's in there, lending a deliciously sweet and savory note to this strong cocktail. Photo courtesy of the Up & Up.
A Golden Ticket
Where: Wooster’s Garden, Houston
What: Dry red wine, 14-year single malt Scotch, vanilla ice cream, and house-made miso honey syrup with shiitake mushrooms.
How: “Shiitake mushrooms give off such a beautifully interesting aroma and an incredible amount of umami taste, and I wanted to challenge myself to make something enticing and delicious with them,” says barman Joseph Seahorn. The unexpected mix of ingredients come together to form a colorful purple drink that riffs on a classic ice cream float. The name? An homage to “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory,” of course. Photo credit: Joseph Seahorn.
Where: Whisler’s, Austin
What: White whisky, dry vermouth, heavy whipping cream, thyme sprig, and roasted corn syrup.
How: “The idea for roasted corn came from wanting to highlight the corn character of the white whiskey, which is unaged so it maintains a fresh raw vegetal flavor," says the drink's creator, Aisling Gammil. "Cream gives the drink a welcome richness to temper the wildness of the whiskey, while thyme turns up the spirit's natural herbaceousness." Photo by Mark Weatherford.
Where: Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA
What: Mezcal, French herbal liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and roasted squash with rosemary honey.
How: "Butternut squash is the perfect flavor for a fall cocktail; it’s vegetal and mildly sweet," says bartender Dan Pontius "The rosemary stands out and enhances the smokiness of the mezcal, which also adds some subtle salinity for overall balance." Photo courtesy of Alden & Harlow.
Where: A.O.C., Los Angeles
What: Green tea-infused vodka, absinthe, jalapeno, cucumber, and arugula.
How: The alluring cocktail list at star chef Suzanne Goin's ingredient-driven restaurant A.O.C. includes the vegetable–based Green Goddess. Not one but three vegetables— cucumber, arugula and jalapeno —go into this potent bright-green drink. Photo by Aaron Cook|AACK Studio.
Where: Rue, Portland, OR
What: Artichoke-based bittersweet liqueur, Italian vermouth, pamplemousse juice, and lemon juice.
How: You'll have no problem finishing your vegetables at Rue in Portland, where bartenders serve up the delicious Artichoke Spritz. “I wanted a bitter and refreshing spritz, and the first thing that came to mind was (the combination of) Cynar and punt e mes. They’re two of my favorites, and Cynar 70 adds body,” notes bar manager Jon Lewis. Photo by Jannie Huang.
Artichoke Spritz recipe:
1 oz Cynar 70
1 oz Punt e Mes
1/4 oz grapefruit juice
1/4 oz lemon juice
3 pieces raw artichoke
Shake ingredients, then serve the mix on the rocks in an old fashioned glass. Top it all with soda and sparkling wine, and add the artichoke.
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