Everyone knows about the bright red Bloody Mary, the most famous vegetable cocktail in the world that you can even get away with drinking for breakfast, thanks to its healthy properties. But did you know that vegetable cocktails come in almost every color of the rainbow?
While vegetables and alcohol might at first seem to be an unlikely pair, in reality the juxtaposition of savory and spirited provides a fresh slap of flavor that will wake up your taste buds.
Use fresh juices from organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible, and remember to shake each cocktail for at least 20 seconds to really bring out the taste of the vegetables. Try the following vegetable cocktails for breakfast, lunch, dinner – or even cocktail hour. Each recipe makes two drinks – so call a friend!
Bell Pepper Cocktail: Like summer sunshine, this peppery drink will wake you up! In the bottom of your shaker, muddle four rings of yellow bell pepper and 2 teaspoons of fresh mint (you can also use green, red or orange bell peppers). Add 3 ounces grapefruit juice, ½ ounce lemon juice, 3 ounces vodka and 1 ½ ounces Chartreuse, a French liqueur. Shake well, then strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a ring of bell pepper – use a different colored pepper for the best presentation.
Carrot Ginger Splash: Two powerful and delicious juices combine to make a bright orange cocktail that is great for killing a headache. Muddle five thin slices of fresh ginger in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add 6 ounces carrot juice, 2 ounces apple juice and 3 ounces vodka and shake very well. Pour the contents over ice, top with a splash of club soda or ginger ale and garnish with a fresh slice of lime.
Cucumber Martini: Cool and refreshing, this cocktail is made for blue skies and lazy afternoons. In a shaker, combine five slices of cucumber with 2 sprigs of fresh mint, muddle well. Add ice, ½ ounce lime juice and 4 ounces vodka or gin and shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with a slice of fresh cucumber.
Tomatillo Mary: This beautiful green version of the Bloody Mary uses “ground cherries” aka tomatillos, a small cousin of the tomato that is used widely in Mexican cuisine. First remove the husks of three tomatillos, wash and core. In a blender, puree1 small cucumber, 2 green tomatoes, 1 clove garlic, 1 spring of cilantro and ½ jalapeno pepper, seeded (you can add more or less depending on how spicy you like things). Add a pinch of sea salt. Pour 3 ounces vodka into two tall glasses filled with ice and add tomatillo mixture; stir. Garnish with green onions, fresh parsley and lime wedges.
Beet Martini: Pretty purple beets provide the rich color for this stout drink. Chill two martini glasses, then line their rims with a mixture of sea salt and crushed black pepper. In a shaker, add ice, 4 ½ oz. vodka and 1 oz. fresh beet juice. Shake very well, then strain into your glasses. Garnish with a sliced beat and/or cocktail olive.