How to Make a Scandinavian Beet Cocktail

Bold in flavor and color, this drink is perfect for a holiday brunch, cocktail party or other joyful gatherings. 


For two cocktails:

  • 2 medium to large beets (one raw for the cocktail, one cooked for garnish)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 oz Aquavit (substitute vodka if you don’t like the caraway and anise flavors of Aquavit)
  • freshly ground pepper
  • ice

Aquavit is a Scandinavian drink that’s frequently served at gatherings such as Christmas and New Years. Organic beets, which are colorful and flavorful winter root vegetables, combine well with the caraway/anise/fennel flavors and all are enlivened by the lemon and fresh black pepper. 

Wash both beets well and peel if desired. Put one in a pot of water and cook until tender enough to pierce with a fork.

While one beet cooks, cut the raw beet into pieces and put in a glass jar or measuring cup. Fill with water to just barely cover and empty into a food processor. Blend until the beets are a pureed paste.

Empty the beet puree into a fine sieve and press the juice out with a spatula.

Remove cooked beet from pan and cut into slices about 1/4" thick. Use small cookie cutters to create festive shapes for garnishing the drinks.

Combine beet juice, lemon juice and Aquavit. Pour over ice and add freshly ground pepper to taste. Cut a small slit in the cooked beet slices and place them on the glasses before serving.

The Garden Lady believes that cocktails should be simple to make, avoid day-ahead preparations, and whenever possible use organic herbs and vegetables from the garden.  

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