At first glance, you'd never guess this glass of "red wine" was made with a secret ingredient: beets! The drink is actually a tea-based mocktail meant to resemble red wine, but it can easily be made alcoholic with a splash of grappa, an Italian grape-based brandy. Essentially, it's the perfect beverage for people who partake and for those who don't, and it's from Day Drinking: 50 Cocktails for a Mellow Buzz by Kat Odell ($11), a cookbook full of low-alcohol cocktails that are perfect for sipping on during the day. Whip up this sophisticated and fruity beverage with just a few fresh ingredients, and booze it up — or not — to your liking.
Bar wizard Eamon Rockey, formerly of Betony in New York City, inspired America’s milk punch craze, and his drink list spans the gamut from riffs on classics to cocktails that require three weeks of prep. Eamon’s drink program at Betony was crazy cool, and it was one that didn’t overlook the mocktail. Here, Eamon creates a smart red wine replacement using just fruit, veg, and tea. When served in a wineglass, it’s almost jarring how much the drink looks like red wine. I use a juicer to make the apple and beet juices, but you can also use a blender (see box, page 15). Or stop by your local juice bar and ask them to make the apple and beet juices for you up to a day in advance.
To make double-strength tea, just double the amount of tea leaves you would ordinarily use. If you’re using tea bags, use two instead of one. If you have loose-leaf tea, go with 2 teaspoons of tea leaves to 1 cup of water (unless the leaves are balled up, in which case use 1 teaspoon).
- 1 1/2 Granny Smith apples (to yield 5 ounces juice)
- 1 red beet (to yield 2 ounces juice)
- 4 ounces double-strength oolong tea, chilled (see Note)
- 1/2 ounce grappa, optional
- Using a juicer or blender, juice the apples (core them first if using a blender). Transfer the juice to a glass jar with a lid. Juice the beet and transfer the juice to a separate glass jar with a lid. Place the juices in the refrigerator overnight to rest and allow the solids to settle to the bottom.
- Strain each juice through cheesecloth to remove any sediment. Combine the strained apple and beet juices and the tea in a pitcher. Chill until ready to serve.
- Before serving, skim off any foam or solids floating on top, and decant off of the settled solids at the bottom. Serve in wineglasses.
- Booze it up: add 1/2 ounce grappa.
Source: Excerpted from Day Drinking by Kat Odell (Workman Publishing). Copyright © 2017. Photographs by Nicole Franzen.
- Drinks, Cocktails
- North American
- 1 serving