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The Root Vegetable Chronicles: Beet Bubbly

February 5, 2009


And now…something a little bit different.

The winter issue of Edible Finger Lakes Magazine had a few great recipes for beets – the beet and carrot latkes were one, and the other one that caught my eye was for a cocktail (!) using beets (!!)

I’m always up for any new way to use beets. I love beets. When I was very young, apparently I would start to cry if I saw someone finish the last of the beets on the table for dinner. That’s some serious beet devotion.



This recipe is from Felicia’s Atomic Lounge, in Ithaca. Using shredded cooked beets, you make a simple syrup flavored with maple syrup, cinnamon, mace, and a little teensy bit of cayenne pepper.


The resulting spiced beet syrup is poured into a glass of sparkling wine or cider (I used a local Finger Lakes sparkling wine) and voila! Beet bubbly cocktail. It is seriously good, too. It’s a nice warm, spicy, complex flavor – reminiscent of mulled wine, a bit. It doesn’t taste particularly like beets, just warm and spicy and a bit sweet and with a subtle lingering warmth in your throat from the cayenne. We had it with sparkling wine, and also mixed with club soda for a non-alcoholic spritzer. It’s so tasty, very seasonal, and would be a really great new cocktail for your next get-together.



Beet Bubbly

From Felicia’s Atomic Lounge, Ithaca, via Edible Finger Lakes Magazine, Winter 2008

View printable recipe

2 large fresh beets
2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
pinch of ground mace or nutmeg
750 mL bottle sparkling wine, sparkling cider, or other sparkling beverage
slices of orange peel for garnish, if you like

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prick the beets with a fork a few times and wrap them in aluminum foil, then place the foil packet on a baking sheet in the middle of the oven. Bake for about an hour, until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork or knife. Remove from the oven, unwrap the foil packets, and let cool slightly. Slip the skins off the beets (they should rub right off.)

Using the shredding blade of a food processor or a box grater, shred the beets. Place the shredded beets in a saucepan, scraping all of the juice in. Add 2 1/2 cups water and cook, uncovered, over medium heat for about 15 minutes (keep at a simmer, not a boil.) Add the maple syrup, cinnamon, mace, and cayenne and continue simmering, uncovered, for a half an hour. The beet syrup should coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

To make each serving, pour sparkling wine/cider/etc. into a glass and add 2 1/2 tablespoons of the spiced beet syrup; gently stir and serve, garnished with a slice of orange peel, if you like.

Syrup will keep in the refrigerator for a week.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. February 5, 2009 8:27 am

    That is so unique, I would love to try it. It has some wonderful flavors in it.

  2. February 5, 2009 9:38 am

    How interesting! And that color is amazing. Love the shots of the syrup going into the sparkling wine.

  3. Betsy permalink
    February 5, 2009 10:29 am

    That’s so neat!

  4. February 5, 2009 11:49 am

    So glad you liked the recipe! The Beet Bubbly is one of our favorites, and a great way to use our abundance of winter vegetables from our local farm share. It is a also a wonderful substitute for a standard mimosa at brunch. Just don’t spill it on the white tablecloth! -Amelia and Leah, Felicia’s Atomic Lounge,

  5. Veronica permalink
    February 5, 2009 2:18 pm

    Amazing pictures! But weirdest drink I’ve seen yet this year.. I would taste it though!

  6. February 5, 2009 11:34 pm

    I know I will never pass this by my husband but I am game to try!!

  7. shannon permalink
    February 6, 2009 4:11 am

    i just wanted to let you know, i lovelovelovelove your blog, don’t stop doing what you do! your photos never cease to make my mouth water, & your writing is fun and detailed. thanks for everything, eggs on sunday<3

  8. Amanda :} permalink
    February 6, 2009 5:47 pm

    very romantic for V-day <3<3<3

  9. February 7, 2009 10:22 am

    That sounds really interesting and it looks so pretty too.

  10. Jessica permalink
    May 1, 2009 11:57 am

    I in a fit of pique with an ex who claimed to hate beets, I started making simple syrup using just sugar and the liquid left from steaming beets in the proportions for sugar and water in regular simple syrup. It makes the syrup bright pink and vaguely earthy. I call it beetadine, like grenadine. I use it to make a drink I named a “piglet” a play on the earthyness, pink color and a regular gimlet.

    1.5 oz gin
    .5 oz lime juice
    .25 oz beet simple syrup

    Shake with ice and pour into a cocktail glass (optional, put a canned peeled lychee in the glass, the drink is just cloudy enough that the lychee is slowly revealed)

  11. keith dillon permalink
    October 19, 2010 10:37 pm

    very innovative. never thought of using beet in a cocktail. it’s worth a try.

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