With its intense red hue and savory flavor, my Savory Gin Cocktail with Cynar and Beet Juice may redefine cocktail hour! A few simple ingredients - gin, Cynar, beet juice, bitters - in a cocktail shaker... This tasty cocktail is perfect when "sweet" just isn't appealing, and it's ready in 5 minutes (or less)!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - Recipe Inspiration
The hubs and I have way too much fun playing with mixology. Typically I am the creative genius ( 😀 ), and he executes my idea. I only became interested in cocktails a couple of years ago, having only ordered "dirty martini up" back in my early college days.
After a vacation to the Texas Hill Country led us to Dripping Springs Distillery, I realized how aromatic and complex a good, artisan gin can be. I got sucked in to the wonders of mixology, and now my interest in gin has turned into a passion for creating flavorful sippers!
If you've followed my blog for any length of time, you know I'm really not into sweet. Unfortunately
for me, sweet, semi-sweet, tart cocktails have been the trend (and preference) seemingly forever. However, a dynamic shift in palate and preference is sweeping this country (and others) - away from the sweet and toward flavors that are savory, sour, smoky, or bitter. I think I've fallen down the savory cocktail "rabbit hole." It's like discovering a whole new world for this adventuresome home cook!
🍸 The Evolution of this Savory Cocktail
So, on to this Savory Gin Cocktail with Cynar and Beet Juice... This combination took some experimentation. First, I went looking for a savory aperitif (typically a fairly dry and low alcohol drink consumed prior to a meal to aid in digestion).
Having developed a fondness for Campari, I went looking for something with more vegetal qualities. I had never tried Cynar (A lighter and flavorful bittersweet drink that is has a relatively low alcohol content and lists artichoke as one of its 13 flavors), but the "artichoke" in the description definitely sounded "savory." I bought a bottle!
Cocktail hour has become a thing at Andersen casa, and that night we experimented with the Cynar. We first tried it with Mezcal, but the smokiness of the Mezcal completely overpowered the Cynar.
On successive nights we tried gin and then bourbon. Cynar most definitely pairs well with the aromatics in gin. I had a Beetology on hand (not straight beet juice), and we gave that a whirl. The beet juice blend is delicious, but it had something a bit sweet in it, so it wasn't quite right; 100% beet juice provided the savory, vegetal quality I was looking for.
This cocktail is simple; there are no syrups to make, just pour 3 ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously, strain into coupe glasses, add a few drops of savory or aromatic bitters, garnish (if desired), and enjoy!
📋 Ingredients You'll Need
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- gin - You don't need to pour "top shelf" gin, but choose something "solid" like Tanqueray.
- Cynar - This is the key ingredient. It runs about $30+ for a bottle, but if you love savory and/or unusual cocktails, you'll use it!
- beet juice - Use 100% beet juice. Many bottles contain a mix of juices (including some fruit juice), and it may mess with the flavor profile.
- savory or aromatic bitters - I use Bittermen's Scarborough Savory Herbal Bitters. There are many suitable options including the widely available Angostura Bitters.
- garnish - Try rosemary sprigs, or other fresh herbs!
- Make the cocktail - Add gin, Cynar, and beet juice to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously.
- Serve - Strain into coupe (or similar) glasses. Add several shakes of bitters. Garnish with rosemary sprig or other fresh herbs. Enjoy!
I don't (yet) have a juicer. I find 100% beet juice at my local Sprouts Market. It's brilliant red, full of antioxidants, and delicious. Blends will result in a different result, so I don't speak for the end result!
Is "the jury still out" on whether savory cocktails sound appealing? I would love your feedback! Scroll down to the "Leave a Reply" section at the bottom of the page...
🥕 More Savory Cocktails
- Salsa Sunset: A Savory Margarita
- St. Patrick's Lemon Cucumber Martini with Fresh Basil
- Caesar Drink – A Canadian Brunch Cocktail
- Bloody Marianne