Sowing Seeds

Vegetables invade the cocktail bar

We tend to view cocktails that claim health benefits with suspicion.

We can't help it; drinks that are branded as "skinny" are, to us, missing the point.

But we're all for the uptick of hearty cruciferous greens and ruby roots that have made their way onto cocktail menus. Take care of your daily vegetable serving with these concoctions:

Kale: At New York's The Wayland, bartender Jason Mendenhall uses kale to fortify his take on a margarita.

Beets: There are more than awesome Italian heroes at Parm, the new outpost from the team behind Torrisi Italian Specialties. Stop by for a bloodred Negroni, which gains its hue from gin that's been infused with beets. Across the country, The Bent Brick in Portland, Oregon, makes a shrub of beets for its Border Crossing.

Carrots: In Charleston, the drink of choice might be whiskey, but the adventurous branch out for the What's Up Doc at Husk. White rum is stained with carrot juice and falernum, then balanced by a bitter Chartreuse rinse.

Cucumbers: California-based bartender Scott Beattie has long seen the merit of a vegetal cocktail. During his tenure at Spoonbar in Healdsburg, he created a Collins that uses both fresh and pickled cucumbers to max out the refreshing factor. And on his opening menu for Plum Bar in Oakland, he did a similar take with radishes.