Growing up your mother probably told you to eat your vegetables. Now thanks to some savvy Houston area mixologists, you can drink your veggies too. This season, cocktail menus are chock-full of vegetable syrups, juices and shrubs resulting in concoctions with vibrant hues of red, green and orange. From peas and carrots to beets and tomatoes, the Houston Press found ten veggie drinks that will make you say “more please.”
Snapsvisa Sour – Coltivare, 3320 White Oak
Coltivare’s beautiful patio garden is the perfect setting to enjoy this brilliant green beverage. The Snapsvisa Sour is made with aquavit, genever, sugar snap peas, lavender, mint, allspice and lime. The result is a slightly tart, but refreshing and herbaceous cocktail with a subtle hint of snap peas on the finish.
Kentucky Rose – Harold’s Tap Room, 350 W. 19th
Even non-bourbon drinkers will love this well-balanced cocktail. The Kentucky Rose uses Elijah Craig Small Batch Bourbon, Domaine Canton, Michigan Beet & Carrot drinking vinegar, cynar, lemon and Peychaud’s bitters. The ginger and herbal liqueurs pair nicely with the earthy complexity of the drinking vinegar to produce a unique and delicious medley of flavors.
True Carats – Kitchen 713, 4601 Washington Ave #130
Kitchen 713 promises “unpretentious, unadulterated soul food” and their drinks are no exception. The True Carats is a real “gem” made with Bombay Sapphire East, Fernet-Branca, carrot juice, grapefruit juice, lime and rosemary simple syrup. The juices and syrups are made in house and the drink is as tasty as it is beautiful.
Loboto-Mobile – Moving Sidewalk, 306 Main
Moving Sidewalk’s Spring menu was inspired by things we thought we’d have in the future that never happened. We may not have flying cars or jetpacks, but we do have the Loboto-Mobile. This sweet, yet savory cocktail is made with gin, madeira, tomato water, mint, basil and firewater bitters. The tomato water is made using cryofiltration which results in a tomato juice that’s light and clear.
Borscht Sour – Riel, 1927 Fairview
The Borscht Sour is an exquisite magenta cocktail topped with a fluffy egg white foam and a sprig of dill. Just four ingredients are used to make this luscious drink: aquavit, lemon, beet syrup and egg white. The beets are roasted in house and then slightly sweetened to make the syrup. Unlike Riel’s rich and creamy borscht soup, the Borscht Sour is light and invigorating.
Oh My Carrots – SideBar, 2 Waterway Square
Carrots are supposed to be good for the eyes so you’ll want a second serving of this alluring martini. The Oh My Carrots combines Reyka vodka, yellow chartreuse, Suze liquer, fresh carrot juice, lemon juice and house rich syrup to make a simple yet elegant cocktail. One sip will have you saying, “Oh, my.”
Just Beet It – Upstairs, 2356 Rice Boulevard
The newly opened Upstairs bar features a lovely cocktail list using fresh juices made in-house. The brilliant red Just Beet It consists of Cimarron tequila, beet juice, lemon and ginger. The natural sweetness of the beets is a perfect pairing with this particular highland tequila which has a dry profile and a bright, forward flavor.
The Constant Gardener – Weights + Measures, 2808 Caroline
Many bars serve a cucumber flavored drink, but The Constant Gardener is the quintessential cucumber cocktail. Gin, Strega, lime, basil and cucumber juice make up this vivid green garden in a glass. The Strega provides subtle herbal notes of mint and fennel, but cucumber is definitely the star of the show.
Deep Rooted – Wooster’s Garden, 3315 Milam
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Deep Rooted looks like a freshly plucked carrot from the earth, but don’t let the small size fool you. This earthy cocktail packs a punch. Montelobos mezcal, Reyka vodka, carrots, heirloom tomato, chamomile, lemon and lime are combined to produce a tasty elixir that’s almost healthy if you overlook the alcohol.
Wild Husk Sour – Xochi, 1777 Walker
The Wild Husk Sour is made with mezcal, pisco, St. Germaine, lime, grapefruit, tomatillo marmalade and garnished with a crystallized hoja santa leaf. At first sip you taste the smokiness of the mezcal, but after a few sips the complexity beneath the smoky front begins to emerge, resulting in a beautifully well-balanced cocktail. Nibbling on the hoja santa leaf adds a lovely herbal note to the drink.