When Esquire called swapping out fruit juices for vegetables one of the Five Best Cocktail Trends, the magazine noted this didn’t mean mixologists would soon be pushing eggplant spritzes and juleps muddled with asparagus. But who knows? A few years ago, who could have predicted today’s boom in veggie juicing? In the right combinations, a clever bartender can make the sweet, earthy or even spicy notes of vegetables juices and syrups taste great when carefully paired with spirits. Especially vodka, but also the more vegetal distillates such as tequila. After all, haven’t we’ve been happily sipping Bloody Marys forever? And aren’t vegetables good for us? May the added antioxidants and vitamins convince you it’s healthy to drink up!
Kimpton Hotel Van Zandt, Austin
At Geraldine’s Austin in this historic Rainey Street District hotel, Bar Director Caitlyn Jackson loves drinking her veggies. A recent creation was 24 Carat Magic—or, more literally, 24 carrots; it’s made with fresh carrot juice, tamarind syrup, lemon juice, vodka and ginger liqueur. Currently featured on the bar menu is Beet It Nerd, a vivid creation of beet shrub, dill, rye, lemon and vodka in a mustard seed-rimmed glass with a large ice cube.
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Punch Room is a 37-seat, upscale speakeasy on the 15th floor of this downtown hotel that specializes in hand-crafted cocktails made with local fruits, herbs and vegetables. Among its recent offerings: Fennier on the Roof (from “fenny,” meaning similar to a marshy fen). It combines rum, house-made honey-fennel syrup—the honey from the property’s rooftop hives—and muddled lime, for a mojito-like drink with an anise tinge.
Joule Hotel, Dallas
Mad as a March Hare is an example of the seasonally focused selections at Midnight Rambler in this landmark 1920s neo-Gothic hotel adjacent to the flagship Neiman Marcus. Blanco tequila, vermouth, cucumber, dill, lemon and house-made carrot soda combine for a drink described as “semi-sweet and effervescent with herbaceous undertones.” The soda is created by spinning carrot juice and other ingredients in a centrifuge to separate out solids and clarify the liquid.
The Ramble Hotel, Denver
New York City’s famed Death & Co has dug in at a hip new hotel on what’s called Mixology Mile in Denver’s RiNo (River North) Art District. Among its multi-faceted dining and drinking experiences is The Garden, an outdoor bar that serves Jaguar’s Smile, composed of white rum, arrack, coconut, whey and beet. The Ramble also offers Vauxhall, a 2,300-square-foot space with a brass and marble bar and Larimer Street frontage.