This cocktail, made with beet juice, apple cider, star anise simple syrup, and rye, is perfect with hot apple fritters with syrup and thick slabs of country ham, fried brown at the edges. It's inspired by a cocktail from Finger Lakes Distilling in upstate New York.
- For the Star Anise Simple Syrup
- 2 tablespoons star anise (or about 5 stars)
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- For the Cocktail
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/2 ounces beet juice (preferably fresh-squeezed)
- 3 ounces cold-pressed apple cider
- 1/2 ounce star anise simple syrup
- Star anise for garnish
For the Star Anise Simple Syrup: Simmer star anise, sugar and water for 10 minutes, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain into a small bottle with a lid or cork. Store in the refrigerator.
For the Cocktail: Fill a tumbler halfway with ice. Add rye, beet juice, cider, and star anise simple syrup. Stir gently. Garnish with star anise.