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Thu May 30, 2013
Beets At The Root Of This Honey And Tarragon Cocktail
Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 6:21 pm
All Things Considered's Found Recipes series isn't just about food. It's about drinks, too — including those that require a valid form of ID.
And the best cocktail is one that's well-balanced, according to bartender Chad Phillips. It will "leave you feeling completely satisfied and better about your life than the second you sat down at my bar," he says.
Phillips tends bar at the Social Club at the Surfcomber Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. On the Miami bar scene, he's known for his culinary and creative approach to bartending.
One of his favorite inventions is a unique beet-infused gin cocktail he calls the "Beet Me in St. Louis." He created it for his fiance on her first Mother's Day and says he drew inspiration from their relationship. Early on, the two had bonded over a shared love of Beefeater martinis and beets.
"I really wanted to encompass our relationship in a glass," he says.
To make the infused gin, Phillips skinned and chopped fresh red beets and put them in a jar with the gin for three days. "Then I had this beautiful beet gin and no idea really what to do with it," he says. So he turned to The Flavor Bible.
"[It's] essentially a cookbook that lists all of the flavor pairings of different ingredients and how they go together," he says.
While paging through the book, Phillips discovered that beets go well with honey, ginger, lemon juice and tarragon, so he set to work on a cocktail that used those flavors. He says he perfected it on the first try.
"I went home that night and I made it for my fiance," he says. "She loved it. ... It just kind of coats your entire mouth with happiness and all the way down. It's just beautiful."
Recipe: Beet Me In St. Louis
2 large uncooked beets, peeled and chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch chunks
1 liter Beefeater Gin
Combine the beets with gin in a glass container and place in a cool, dark place, shaking once or twice a day. After three days, remove the beets from the gin. Store the infused gin in the refrigerator.
Combine equal parts honey and hot water in a container and stir until the two have mixed together. Fill the container with as much fresh tarragon as you can and let sit 8 to 10 hours at room temperature. Strain to remove tarragon.
1 1/2 ounce Beet-Infused Gin
1/2 ounce Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur
1/2 ounce Honey-Tarragon Syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake and strain into a coupe cocktail glass. Garnish with two tarragon leaves.
MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:
For today's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED Found Recipe, we went to a hot place for a cool cocktail.
(SOUNDBITE OF A MIXER)
CHAD PHILLIPS: A great cocktail should be well balanced and leave you feeling completely satisfied and better about your life from the second you sat down at my bar.
BLOCK: And that bar would be The Social Club at the Surfcomber Hotel in Miami Beach. Chad Phillips is considered by many to be one of the best bartenders there, thanks to his culinary and creative approach to mixing drinks.
PHILLIPS: Today, I'm going to make the Beet Me in St. Louis cocktails, one of my favorite cocktails.
BLOCK: Beat Me in St. Louis? Beat as in...
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BEAT IT")
MICHAEL JACKSON: (Singing) Beat it. Beat it. No one...
PHILLIPS: Just to clarify that it's B-E-E-T, as in the red vegetable. not beat as in Michael Jackson's "Beat it."
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
BLOCK: That's right, beets. They're not just for soup and salads anymore.
PHILLIPS: So this drink has a beet infused Beefeater Gin, little bit of Domain De Canto ginger liquor, some fresh squeezed lemon juice and a honey tarragon syrup.
(SOUNDBITE OF MIXER AND MUSIC)
PHILLIPS: This cocktail created for my fiancee on her first Mother's Day. It's kind of born from the start of our relationship when we bounded over our love of Beefeater martinis, and cooking beets in our kitchen. And so, for her first Mother's Day, I really wanted to encompass our relationship in a glass.
And so, I took some fresh red beets, skinned them, peeled them, put them in a jar with Beefeater Gin. And I let that sit for about three days, and then I had this beautiful beet gin and no idea really what to do with it. So I went to kind of my bible, "The Flavor Bible," which lists - it's essentially a cookbook that lists all of the flavor pairings of different ingredients and how they go together.
I started looking through that, what goes well with beets. Turns out ginger goes really well, honey goes really well, lemon juice, tarragon. And it turns out all of these flavors really worked well together. And so, I took the gin to my bar and - believe or not - my first try, I nailed it. It was a perfect drink. And so I went home that night and I made it for my fiancee and she loved it. And because of that it's one of my favorite drinks I've ever created.
(SOUNDBITE OF A MIXER)
PHILLIPS: And as we strained it in, we're going to finish it off with a garnish, which is two tarragon leaves. And it's to really bring out aroma. We're going to place them in our palm. We're going to give them a nice, hard smack.
(SOUNDBITE OF A SMACK)
PHILLIPS: And then we're going to lay those on top of the drink, just to really put those aromas in your nose as you take your first sip. It just kind of coats your entire mouth with happiness. And just all the way down, it's just beautiful.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
BLOCK: And if you can't get to Miami, or just want to try this at home, you can find Chad Phillip's recipe for his Beet Me in St. Louis Cocktail on the Found Recipes page at NPR.org.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
You'll also find details about our Taste of Summer Contest there. We're looking for recipes for the summer food and drinks you just can't do without. Those recipes don't have to be original, but the stories behind them should be true and interesting - even laugh out loud funny.
BLOCK: We don't ask for a whole lot. Do we, Robert?
BLOCK: Type it all out. at NPR.org, click on Contact Us, and please make sure Taste of Summer is in your subject line. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.