Root of the Matter: Beets and Booze at PS7′s
Talk about a better way to get my daily allowance! I would take this over V8 any day of the week. PS7's frothy $14 combination of San Luis Del Rio Mezcal, muddled pineapple and beets, and a few dashes of beet syrup, was captivating enough for me to ignore the dish of seasoned popcorn that the bartender placed in front of me. It seems these people sensed in me a serious vegetable deficiency.
The color and scent suggested a raspberry margarita, but the flavor was unlike anything I have tasted from a highball before. It was airy and temperate, just enough of everything to breathe new life into my afternoon. I actually felt a tad bit healthier. Go figure. Pineapple bits and beet juice mixed with liquor? Bring it on. I felt so rejuvenated after that first cocktail that I decided to peruse the menu for another fantastic way to consume my suggested amount of folate. That is when I stumbled upon the glorious and simple B&B: a $10 concoction of Makers Mark, beets, and bitters.
What's with all the beet drinks on the menu?
Head bartender Gina Chersevani tells me she just likes the natural sweetener in the root. She makes the syrup in house, bottles herself after cooking down the red beets and adding a little vanilla bean for a little extra umph. Chersevani will be showcasing her beet bevvies at the upcoming industry trade show "Tales of the Cocktail 2011" in New Orleans, where she'll be hosting a seminar titled "Let's Not Sugar Coat It," dealing with all the ways we can avoid bogging down our cocktails with the use of artificial flavors and sugars and instead rely on the natural ingredients all around us.
But back to the B&B: When I closed my eyes and took a sniff, it reminded me of the carnival for some strange reason. Could’ve been the spiced popcorn nearby, mixed with the candyesque aroma wafting from the glass. Maybe it was the magnificent colors copulating with each other amongst the ice cubes.
Thick and sweet, the syrupy consistency coated my tongue in such a way as to suggest that Makers and I had a far more intimate relationship than I was aware of. I simply sat and savored the flavor of the newfound fabulousness of not hiding my veggies under the rim of my plate.
Trixie Tamerlane is the author of From The Other Side: Pourings from the Mind of a Bartender
Photo by Trixie Tamerlane