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Mike's Mix: The Beetnik

Every Friday, Mike Augustyniak picks up a new cocktail recipe from a local mixologist. Throughout April, Mike's picking up some exciting recipes from the newest dining hotspot in south Minneapolis: the just-opened Heyday in the Lyn-Lake area. This week's selection uses an offbeat flavor accent, to say the least.

1 ¾ oz. El Jimador blanco tequila
1 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice
¾ oz. beet/orange shrub*
½ oz. Cynar
one eyedropper of Absinthe

Beet-Orange Shrub
3 roasted beets (roasted at 425º F with sliced orange rings, some water, a little olive oil, salt and pepper for about one hour or until beets are tender enough to pierce with a knife)
2 large oranges with peel and pith removed, cut into cube pieces
2 cups white sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 3/4 cups Apple cider vinegar
½ cup water
• Blend beets and oranges in a food processor until roughly pureed, should yield approximately 2.5 cups of product
• Put beet/orange puree in a saucepan with sugar, distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar and water, add about two of beet cooking liquid to mix (the stuff at the bottom of the pan)
• Bring to boil, then simmer until a little more than a quarter of the way. Strain out solids through a chinois.

Combine ingredients, pour over ice in a shaker tin, and shake. Serve up in a coupe or martini glass. Cut a coin-sized piece of orange peel, squeeze it over the drink, and then float it on top.

Taste Test
Yes, you have to invest some time to make this drink; more than average. But, if you do, you will be treated to a drink that is unique by looks and taste. Right up front -- I don't really like beets but I did like this drink. Bartender Britt has blended two really earthy flavors (the tequila and the beet puree) together in a way that surprised me, in a good way. The beet-orange shrub will last awhile in the refrigerator, so store what you don't use, and be ready to impress the neighbors time and again!

About Heyday
Heyday is located at 2700 Lyndale Ave. S. The restaurant serves dinner daily, starting at 5 p.m. For a sample menu and more information, click here. For Sara Pelissero's Q&A with co-owner Lorin Zinter, click here.

To find more recipes from Mike's Mix, click here.

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