Beet Kvass Gimlet

beet gimlet
Beet Kvass GimletMatt Taylor-Gross

Kvass is a fermented drink traditionally made from rye, but in this version, we use beets, which lend their beautiful red color to the finished cocktail.

Beet Kvass Gimlets
Kvass is a fermented drink traditionally made from rye, but in this version, beets are substituted and lend their beautiful red color to the finished cocktail.
Yield: makes 2 cocktails
Time: 15 minutes

For the beet kvass

  • 7 very small beets, peeled and chopped
  • 12 large apple, cored and diced
  • One 2- to 3-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 12 tsp. canning salt
  • 1 12 tsp. sugar

For the gimlets

  • 4 oz. vodka
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • Ice

Instructions

  1. Make the beet kvass: Clean and sterilize a 1-quart glass jar.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the beets, apple, and ginger. Transfer to the jar and add the salt and sugar; shake to combine. Add water so that it comes up 1 inch from the rim of the jar. Tightly seal, and shake thoroughly to dissolve the salt and sugar. Set aside, but repeat the shaking a few times in the next few hours.
  3. Taste the kvass after 7 days (remember that pressure will have built up beneath the jar lid; open over a sink). It should taste pleasantly sour and have a slight natural carbonation. If not soured to your taste, replace the lid and let ferment up to 1 week more. Strain, bottle, and chill.
  4. Make the gimlets: In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine 3 ounces of the prepared beet kvass, the vodka, and lemon juice; shake vigorously to chill, then pour into two ice-filled glasses. Serve immediately. Extra kvass will keep fizzy in a sealed container for up to 10 days.