One day this summer I had the good fortune of getting drinks with one of my best girlfriends at one of our favorite old spots on Cape Cod. We were kid free, the sun was shining, and we had the bartender’s full attention to chat with us about their seasonal cocktail menu. One drink caught my eye – it was a deep, jewel-toned dark pink – and I asked our bartender what was in this gorgeous concoction. She let us know that it was actually beet juice that turned it so bright, and I knew I had to try it. The beet juice was mixed with bourbon and hints of orange and ginger – and the combination of ingredients was surprising and satisfying. I knew I had to try to recreate it at home, and have mixed up a version that feels pretty close to my memory of the tasty cocktail I had this summer – scroll down for my take and the full recipe:

Beets + Bourbon Fall Cocktail.
  • 1.5 oz. Bourbon
  • ½ oz. Beet Juice
  • ½ oz. Apple Ginger Syrup (1 Cup Water, ½ Cup Sugar, 3 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, 1 Red Apple)
  • ½ oz. Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Ginger Beer
  • Orange peel, for garnish
  • Ice
  1. Make the apple ginger syrup: roughly chop one red apple and the fresh, peeled ginger; add to a pot with 1 cup of water and ½ cup of sugar. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a container and discard the ginger and apple pieces. Chill until ready to use.
  2. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine the bourbon, beet juice, freshly squeezed orange juice and chilled apple ginger syrup. Shake well and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice, top with a splash of ginger beer and garnish with orange peel.