Beeting the Odds

To everyone who survived 2016 in more or less one piece: You deserve a drink. Each passing year seems especially intense right as we prepare for the next, the most news-worthy events still fresh, stinging wounds that have yet to heal. It’s the immediacy, the fact that we’re still so close to it all, that each lurid detail snaps to mind with painful clarity. That said, this one struck me as a particularly difficult slog, through all the losses, ugly politics, and general malaise that the entire world is still struggling to overcome.

Impossibly, inexplicably, some facets of these tragedies give me hope. The worst can also bring out the best in people, and I’ve seen some incredible acts of kindness, courage, and inspiration as a result. There’s still so much to celebrate, and I sure as hell am not going to let anyone stop me from moving forward with optimism, no matter the situation. The key here is community, supporting one another in the darkest of days, which is why my festive drink of the season is one made for a crowd.

Beets sound like a terrible idea for a cocktail, granted, but their natural sweetness and mellow earthy flavors ground the mixture in a comforting, satisfying way. Brighter citrus flavors lift up the taste buds, singing with unexpected harmony, elevated by the effervescence of champagne. The essential inspiration for the combination came from Stirrings, in the form of a challenge to use their mixers in new and innovative ways. This is my entry into the contest, and I’m looking forward to raising a glass with all of the other celebratory entries sure to come. You can keep up with them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Stirrings can be found at Bevmo, Total Wines & More, Draegers, Mollie Stones, Hi Time Liquors, Pacific Ranch Market, Daniels Market, and Bristol Farms stores.

In the face of these challenges and unresolved, unsettling cliffhangers, I turn to 2017 and say: Bring it on. Do your worst. If we could manage this past year, we can tackle anything. So join me in raising a glass to celebrate the successes and failures alike, to move forward to a brighter New Year. After all, I have faith that with such perspective underneath our belts, it can only get better from here.

Beet to the Punch

1 Cup Stirrings Lemon Drop Cocktail Mix
3/4 Cup Golden Beet Juice*
2/3 Cup Orange Liqueur
3 Cups Hard Apple Cider
3 Cups Champagne or Sparkling White Wine
Spiralized Golden Beets, to Garnish (Optional)

*To make the beet juice without a juicer, start with at least 2 cups of raw, peeled golden beets. Chop them roughly and place them in a high-speed blender with just enough water to allow the blades to spin freely. Puree completely, until entirely smooth. Pass the resulting blend through a very fine-mesh sieve or nutmilk bag and extract as much liquid as possible. Discard or reserve the pulp for another use.

Combine all the ingredients in a large punch bowl with a ladle for guests to help themselves. Serve over ice. Garnish individual glasses with spiralized beets, if desired.

Makes 10 – 14 Servings

Printable Recipe

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12 thoughts on “Beeting the Odds

  1. I love your optimistic, hopeful spirit! 2016 has certainly been a roller coaster of emotions. So creative to use beet juice in this – it looks delicious!

  2. Here’s to the magic dust of hope that we optimists set our sights on when we choose to steer in the dark and here’s to discovering and building community of worth in 2017. You hit the nail right on the head. I had already decided that 2017 was going to be my year of taking myself out of my comfort zone and diving head first into finding like minded people to create community with. Steve and I are studying film making this year. We have to produce a documentary and a drama (short 5 minutes each) this year and as soon as I heart that we would be filming a documentary I immediately knew that mine would be about community and social interactions that tie us all and that strengthen us. I am so glad I met you Ms Hannah. Here’s to a magic 2017 united in community.

    1. Oh my dear Narf, once again I find myself stunned into silence by the eloquence and depth of your words. Knowing just how passionate you are about all of your endeavors, I can’t begin to say how excited I am to see what you turn up in your documentaries. It’s a subject very near and dear to my heart as well, as you could assume. I’m so grateful that we both managed to connect in the vast wilds of the interweb.

      1. I just planted out the two cherimoya seedlings that survived in pots and now they are both in the ground surrounded by avocado seedlings so here’s to vast wild connections Ms Hannah and to future connection crops :)

      2. You will be the very first to know. I will keep you updated with their growing progress but they are very happy planted out in the espalier garden that Sanctuary has now become with the avocado mates :)

  3. I’ll drink to that. Here’s hoping that we’ve overestimated the coming destruction, and 2017 will be better than expected. And we WILL be able to give and take strength from community. On the other hand, your cocktail recipe sounds like a fine item to have on hand just in case. Although not usually a beet fan, I do love beet juice, so the recipe is very appealing to me. Happy New Year to you, Hannah. Wishing you well.

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