While fresh-squeezed fruit juices have become common on serious cocktail menus, some of America’s best bartenders are turning to vegetables to incorporate seasonal and bitter components into their drinks.A new spot with creative, vegetable-heavy cocktails is The Wayland in New York City’s East Village.
“Most of the drinks I make come from the kitchen,” says owner-mixologist Jason Mendenhall. His refreshing Garden Variety Margarita was inspired by a cold remedy he creates at home, featuring kale and ginger juice.
For the bar’s version, he added smooth silver tequila, lime juice and agave; he serves the cocktail on the rocks with a rim of smoked sea salt. “I wanted to capture that vegetal component without scaring people away,” he says.
Five days after opening, the vivid green drink became the bar’s most popular cocktail. Next up on The Wayland’s rotating drink list is a beet-juice-and-mezcal concoction, and Mendenhall is working on radish bitters as well as umami-packed mushroom bitters.
This story was originally published by Food & Wine.
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