Welcome to Imbibe Magazine's between-issues look at liquid culture with drink recipes, news and more. From coffee to cocktails, Imbibe celebrates your world in a glass.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A Taste of Lucy Brennan's "Hip Sips"

Hip Sips, the new cocktail book from our friend Lucy Brennan, has arrived, with more than 60 of her always-delicious, exquisitely-balanced recipes. She signed books for a big crowd last night at her Portland bar and restaurant, Mint and 820, while guests supped complimentary saketinis.

Here's a sneak peek at Hip Sips:

Lucy Brennan's Ruby

The Ruby might just be the best combination of chilled vodka and beets to hit the streets since Perestroika. Earthy undertones of handmade beet-infused vodka ground this dirty martini alternative. Serve straight up with a mixed green salad or crostini and aged cheeses.

Cocktail ice cubes for chilling and shaking
3 oz. beet-infused vodka
1/2 oz. fresh lemon-lime juice (half lemon juice, half lime juice, both fresh-squeezed)
1/2 oz. simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, dissolved)

Fill a 5 oz. martini glass with ice and set aside to chill. Fill a tempered pint glass (or cocktail shaker) with ice and add the vodka, lemon-lime juice and simple syrup. Cap the glass with a stainless-steel cocktail shaker (or, if using a cocktail shaker, replace the lid) and shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Empty the ice from the martini glass. Strain the drink into the glass and serve immediately.

Beet-Infused Vodka:
3 red beets (1 1/2 pounds), trimmed, peeled, and cut into quarters
1 bottle (1 liter) vodka (Lucy recommends Monopolowa)

Put the beets in a wide-mouthed glass jar with a lid. Add the vodka and seal the container (reserve the vodka bottle for refilling.) The mixture will immediately turn a bright ruby color. Store in a cool dark place for three days, stirring each day. The infused vodka will be a deep purple color with a strong, earthy beet taste. Using a slotted spoon, remove and discard the beets. Place a funnel in the reserved vodka bottle and pour the infused vodka into the bottle. Cap and store in the refrigerator for up to six months.