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That juicer you bought for your well-intentioned New Year’s cleanse? How’s that working out? Chances are, said juicer might be occupying counter space rather than pulverizing fruits into a daily morning beverage. Fortunately, you can put that juicer to good use for cocktails, too, which should help you get more mileage out of your machine.
Bars around the United States are showcasing fresh juices in their drinks—from the tropical flavors of pineapple and citrus to bright beets and carrots. Why not bring that know-how home? Each of these cocktails is refreshing and plenty juicy. So make a trip to your local grocer, then get to work.
1. Scottish Beats
Giving a nod to the classic Blood & Sand, this drink by Jason Percival, bar manager at Boston’s Post 390, skips the orange juice in favor of orange liqueur and beets. The latter provides a dramatic rosy hue and a hint of earthy sweetness, and proves that beets are for more than salads.
2. Plain Killer
At James Beard Award winner Tory Miller’s pan-Asian restaurant, Sujeo in Madison, Wisconsin, a duo of fresh pineapple and orange juices round out this Tiki-style libation. With rum and coconut cream, it’s modeled on the classic Painkiller cocktail, but built for two thirsty revelers. Choose your partner wisely.
3. Carrot Thing
New York City’s Saxon + Parole plays with plenty of fresh produce on its drink menu, which means that (depending on the season) guests often request “that watermelon thing” or “that pumpkin thing.” This time, head bartenders Maxime Belfand and Masa Urushido hopped one step ahead and named their heirloom-carrot-packed winter drink accordingly. In addition to carrots, the complex cocktail features scotch, mezcal and Licor 43, plus lemon, agave and a smoked salt rim.
4. Pomelo Cream Fizz
Pomelos—large thick-skinned citrus fruits—are pretty easy to find in Asian markets. But if you don’t have one, grapefruit works just as well in this refreshing, fizzy drink from Brad Goocher, the beverage director at Charleston, S.C.’s Le Farfalle. The recipe calls for gin, but he also makes a mocktail version of the drink with three ounces of juice instead and one ounce each of honey and cream. Top with seltzer, and whichever route you choose, you’ve got a cool and creamy treat.
Opened in December 2016 from “Top Chef” alum Ryan Scott, the cocktail menu at San Francisco’s now-shuttered Finn Town boasted plenty of fresh juices—cucumber, ginger, etc. But fennel’s not one you see on the drink menu very often. This drink by bartender Anthony Parks lends freshness and a subtle anise flavor to the agave-forward sipper that calls for both tequila and mezcal, plus lime, agave syrup and soda water.
6. Boat House Punch
This large-format drink from New York bar legend Julie Reiner is citrusy and bubbly, and it looks as good as it tastes. Gin gets a helping hand from multiple citrus fruits—lemon, orange and grapefruit—plus two liquors (Aperol and St-Germain) and, finally, a topper of sparkling rosé. Those fresh juices keep the punch perfectly quaffable and resetting for a hot day, whether or not you happen to be on a boat. Gather some friends, mix a batch, and sip away.
7. Lunar Eclipse
The combination of turmeric and fresh carrot juice might seem like a combination you’d find only at your local juice shop. But bartender Matt Ragan infuses that turmeric into vodka and mixes the carrot juice with honey, lemon and Angostura bitters, putting the beverage squarely in cocktail territory. It’s bright, vegetal, and earthy. And, while the Lunar Eclipse goes down easily like a healthy juice, the two ounces of vodka are there to remind you that this drink is better for brunch than as an after-workout tonic.
This fresh and fruity cooler is exactly what you want on a hot day. San Francisco bartender H. Joseph Ehrmann cools the glass down with cucumber vodka and watermelon juice, which adds a hydrating effect to the other ingredients: St-Germain, lime juice, agave and mint. Served over ice, the Whatamelon is perfect for sipping on sunny patios, and a great way to breathe some extra life into your watermelon haul.