All Things Considered's Found Recipes series isn't just about food. It's about drinks, too — including those that require a valid form of ID.
And the best cocktail is one that's well-balanced, according to bartender Chad Phillips. It will "leave you feeling completely satisfied and better about your life than the second you sat down at my bar," he says.
Phillips tends bar at the Social Club at the Surfcomber Hotel in Miami Beach, Fla. On the Miami bar scene, he's known for his culinary and creative approach to bartending.
One of his favorite inventions is a unique beet-infused gin cocktail he calls the "Beet Me in St. Louis." He created it for his fiance on her first Mother's Day and says he drew inspiration from their relationship. Early on, the two had bonded over a shared love of Beefeater martinis and beets.
"I really wanted to encompass our relationship in a glass," he says.
To make the infused gin, Phillips skinned and chopped fresh red beets and put them in a jar with the gin for three days. "Then I had this beautiful beet gin and no idea really what to do with it," he says. So he turned to The Flavor Bible.
"[It's] essentially a cookbook that lists all of the flavor pairings of different ingredients and how they go together," he says.
While paging through the book, Phillips discovered that beets go well with honey, ginger, lemon juice and tarragon, so he set to work on a cocktail that used those flavors. He says he perfected it on the first try.
"I went home that night and I made it for my fiance," he says. "She loved it. ... It just kind of coats your entire mouth with happiness and all the way down. It's just beautiful."
Recipe: Beet Me In St. Louis
2 large uncooked beets, peeled and chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch chunks
1 liter Beefeater Gin
Combine the beets with gin in a glass container and place in a cool, dark place, shaking once or twice a day. After three days, remove the beets from the gin. Store the infused gin in the refrigerator.
Combine equal parts honey and hot water in a container and stir until the two have mixed together. Fill the container with as much fresh tarragon as you can and let sit 8 to 10 hours at room temperature. Strain to remove tarragon.
1 1/2 ounce Beet-Infused Gin
1/2 ounce Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur
1/2 ounce Honey-Tarragon Syrup
1/2 ounce lemon juice
Combine all ingredients in shaker. Shake and strain into a coupe cocktail glass. Garnish with two tarragon leaves.