Juicing jump-starts a healthy diet, and it also is the key to cocktail innovation at Topping Rose House.
Most Hamptonites would happily raise a glass to Wölffer Estate Vineyard and its winemaker, Roman Roth, whose pretty pink rosé, aptly named Summer in a Bottle, embodies this season on the East End, at least in liquid form. But adventurous cocktail connoisseurs are shaking things up with an alternative potable ingredient—the vibrant fuchsia beet.
“With every season come different types of produce, so that is a huge source of inspiration when developing new cocktails,” offers Jessica Koenig, beverage manager at Bridgehampton’s Topping Rose House. “[And] Long Island has an abundance of root vegetables.”
Koenig would know—she and her husband, chef du cuisine Kyle Koenig, source much of their menu ingredients from right outside the inn’s doors on Topping House Farm. “Since we are a farm-to-table restaurant, I wanted to create a cocktail that refected that concept,” she says. “We try to incorporate that into our [drinks] as much as possible by using seasonal and local ingredients. The cocktail program changes with the seasons.”
But even more than that, Koenig decided to think outside the usual box of limes and employ the humble beet as well because of its not-so-humble hue and the way it cleaves to the vegetal favors innate in tequila. “The favor profle of beets is very earthy and sweet, which pairs nicely with the black pepper notes of tequila,” she says.
And that’s exactly the way you should approach all garden treasure in your tipples. Says Koenig, “The best way to incorporate veggies into cocktails is to think of their favor profle and what other ingredients can showcase those properties. Clear spirits like vodka, gin or blanco tequilas tend to work better than spirits like Scotch or [other] whiskey.” 1 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Tpk., Bridgehampton, 537-0870