by Peter Coucquyt
on November 13, 2015

A Beetroot Cocktail with sambuca, yoghurt and coffee

In this perfectly balanced beetroot cocktail, Molinari sambuca pairs exceptionally well with beetroot and coffee, both of which serve to highlight the liqueur's spicy, citrus notes. It's then topped off with yoghurt foam for a touch of refreshing tartness. Molinari sambuca, favored for its strong, aromatic anise flavour and syrupy sweetness can be consumed neat, on the rocks or enjoyed with espresso coffee in the “Caffé Corretto” fashion. This beetroot cocktail recipe demonstrates just how Molinari sambuca can pair with other complementary notes and flavours.

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The Right Balance of Aromas

This particular cocktail is one that will first impress upon your sense of smell. Molinari sambuca is most characterised by its spicy anise-like aroma (red portion of the wheel) and woody, liquorice notes (brown portion of the wheel). Our cinnamon syrup emphasizes the spicy nature of sambuca, while providing extra body for a smooth finish. You'll see that coffee shares the same citrus and spicy, vanilla notes as Molinari sambuca, therefore making them a perfect aromatic match.

The Right Balance of Flavour

Any bartender or mixologist will tell you that the key to a well-balanced cocktail is striking the right mix of sweet, sour and bitter components. Hence, the importance of contrasting the sweetness of the sambuca and the cinnamon syrup with a sour element.

Lemon and lime aren't the only sour elements we can add to our cocktails. Other tart ingredients such as grapefruit juice, yoghurt or even a gueuze beer also make wonderful souring agents. Be creative and try not to limit yourself when coming up with drink pairings.

For this particular beetroot cocktail, we used yoghurt and verjus (sour grape juice) as souring agents to balance the sweet Molinari sambuca liqueur and our cinnamon syrup. Meanwhile, the inclusion of coffee serves not only to highlight the citrus and spicy aromas, it also adds a contrasting bitter twist to ground the full cocktail experience.

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Not shaken, this beetroot cocktail should instead be stirred. We typically shake when working with juices, but keep in mind that doing so can actually affect the flavours so we prefer to stir this one. Stirring also maintains the dramatic red beetroot color. Simply combine beetroot juice, Molinari sambuca, verjus, cinnamon syrup and vodka, stirring together with ice. Double strain this mixture and add to a cocktail glass without ice. Then, to finish, top off with some yoghurt foam, which can be prepared beforehand in a cream whipper. Simply add the yoghurt to the whipper and allow to rest in the refrigerator overnight. Once you've evenly dispensed the yoghurt foam over the cocktail and are ready to serve, sprinkle freshly ground coffee over the top.

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Beetroot Cocktail Pairing with Raw Salmon—A Perfect Match

Salmon, beetroot and yoghurt is a classic combination among chefs, but there's a difference between working with cocktails and food! When pairing cocktails with food, you must think of the total experience and consider multiple interactions between the ingredients. In this case, salmon shares fresh green, cucumber-like aromas with beetroot, therefore, making it a perfect match. Try enjoying the salmon uncured without spices, since the anise-like spicy notes of Molinari sambuca will compensate for this.

Want to learn more about the earthy flavour of beetroot? Read this article.

by Peter Coucquyt
A former Michelin-starred chef, Peter applies his culinary expertise to the science of Foodpairing®, infusing the sensory experiences of aroma, taste and texture into every one of his creations.

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