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Juice Behind the Bar

Using both seasonal fruits and purées brings consistent flavor to the refreshing aguas frescas at Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster, Colo.

“Fresh” and “consistent” are key words behind the bar today—something the combination of freshly made juices and purées helps to create.

California Pizza Kitchen’s latest cocktail menu offers numerous drinks using both: for example, California Roots (vodka, avocado, mint, agave syrup) and Coconut Blossom (mandarin vodka, tequila, coconut purée, fresh pineapple and agave syrup). In order to maintain a consistent flavor profile, drinks like the Strawberry Basil Martini include fruit purée.

“We love to use and innovate with quality purées and gain consistency year-round,” says CPK Vice President of Marketing Ashley Ceraolo. “Our guests are definitely looking for more unique flavors in general and in cocktails, so we’ve already created some, and there will be more in 2016.”

In Nashville, 5th & Taylor added new cocktails and changed the recipe for its signature Cucumber Gimlet after partnering with local business I Love Juice Bar.

“We’ve been interested in using fresh juices in our cocktails for a while, but one of the biggest issues is that a commercial quality juicer runs up to $30,000,” says General Manager Nate Cannon.

Cannon and company picked three drinks for three juices: To Beet Determined (gin, elderflower liqueur, ginger syrup and beet juice); Don’t Need No Crutch (spiced rum, amaro, apple juice and chocolate bitters); and an update on the Cucumber Gimlet (vodka, cucumber juice, lemon and ginger).

“We picked drinks that would make sense on our menu. The Cucumber Gimlet has been with us from the beginning, and we wanted to upgrade it to make that as fresh and interesting as possible,” says Cannon. Now the drink can be made more speedily with more attention paid to the garnish by bartenders not bogged down with muddling cucumbers per order.

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About The Author

Jack Robertiello

Jack Robertiello writes about spirits, cocktails, wine, beer and food from Brooklyn, N.Y.