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The Dish

Garden Variety

Cocktail culture wants you to drink your vegetables.

Cucumber slices, celery sticks, tomato juice from a can. Once upon a time, that was as close as most veggies got to a cocktail glass. But now bar-chefs, people who focus on fresh and seasonal ingredients as much as their kitchen counterparts, are moving from the orchard to the vegetable patch in search of inspiration.

“When I find myself saying ‘There is no way I can put that in a cocktail!’ it only drives me further,” says Tom Hogan, lead bartender at Fairmont Singapore’s new Anti:dote bar. The mixologist’s mission has led him to concoct corn liqueur, parsnip tinctures and squash-infused rum, as well as the Blood of Dillinger, an earthy, beet-based tequila cocktail made especially for Anti:dote.

Hogan isn’t the only one trying to squeeze veggie cocktails into your five servings a day. Molecular magician Tony Conigliaro’s book The Cocktail Lab (Random House) includes a recipe for Pumpkin Bellinis, and you can find him infusing green beans in vermouth at his North London “lab,” 69 Colebrooke Row.

In New York, the prohibition-inspired  Apotheke Cocktail Bar serves up drinks bursting with unexpected ingredients, including roasted corn and edamame pods, while the Margarita de Remolacha at Gran Electrica (pictured)is brimming with beet juice. Order a Garden Variety cocktail at The Wayland in the East Village and you’ll get a dose of everyone’s favorite superfood: kale. Calling it “nutritious” may be a bit of a stretch, but with strong. sweet notes of ginger and lime, it is definitely delicious.

Eve Thomas

see anti:dote bartender tom hogan in action at


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