More than ever before, we’re seeing ingredients previously confined to the plate making their way into our glass.
So we did some digging to unearth a few of the strangest drink additions. The hidden treasures: everything from leafy greens to seaweed to sea urchin gonads. Questionable? Maybe. Intriguing? Absolutely.
Muddled or pureed, sugar snap peas are a hot item among some of the country’s leading bartenders, including New York’s Naren Young, who recently wrote about the legume’s versatility and shared recipes that feature a spectrum of spirits. It gives a whole new meaning to mom’s nag, “Eat your peas!”
We’ve used hot peppers aplenty to create spicy cocktails. Still, we rarely consider its sweeter cousin, the bell pepper. It may rank zero on the Scoville scale, which measures a chile’s heat, but its mild, vegetal flavor pairs nicely with mezcal and tequila in drinks like the Savory Margarita, which calls for bell pepper juice, and the Dante Belpepper, which uses a seasoned bell pepper puree.
Care for a little fungi in your cocktail? Apparently, lots of bartenders do and, frankly, it’s way better than it sounds. Take the Dirt Nap, an earthy tipple from star San Francisco bartender Brian Means: It’s made with a base of dry vermouth that’s been infused with porcini mushrooms. Odd? Yes. Delicious? Definitely. A slice of your favorite ’shroom also makes for a delighfully bizarre garnish.