Beets are commonly known for their abundance of vitamins and minerals—potassium, fiber, A, B and C, to name a few. But the beautiful red roots are also chock-full of boron—a trace mineral said to increase sex hormone levels—making them natural aphrodisiacs. You won't win any points for going on a juice date this Valentine's Day, but luckily bartenders are also incorporating infusions into earthy and beautifully colored cocktails.
At the revamped Austrian bar Upholstery Store in New York's West Village, the By the Yard cocktail features vodka, beets and horseradish foam. “This was a collaboration by our head bartender and chef de cuisine,” says co-owner Leo Schneemann. “They wanted to do a riff on the Bloody Mary using beets. The horseradish foam really takes it over the top and makes it fun.”
Across town at Amanda Cohen’s newly revived Dirt Candy, a reimagined “pickleback” comes with a shot of chilled vodka and bright, pickled beet juice. "One of our traditions is to have staff drinks after service on Saturday night, while we do a deep cleaning," says Cohen. "At the original location, we were pickling beets, and we had some vodka on hand that we were using in a tempura batter. It was only a matter of time before these two great tastes collided." Cohen prefers the briny, slightly spiced beet version now on offer to those with pickle brine. "It was so delicious that we wanted to share it with customers in the new restaurant, although if we wanted to be truly authentic we'd serve it in plastic pint containers," she adds.