A Cocktail Inspired by Beet Salads

Starts with Beets and a Bus

First there is a mini-bus. Then there is a design. We share this history.

And it’s actually good!

GN Chan Pop Up

Bartenders look everywhere for drink inspiration, but a simple beet salad might not seem like the most obvious place to start for a new cocktail. Bartender Gn Chan, however, believes you can make a good, tasty cocktail with some of the salad’s basic parts, plus a little ingenuity and experience mixing drinks. For his New York Beet Salad, roasted beets are pureed and the juice is added to a shaker with pineapple juice, cranberry reduction, lemon, and white rum. Chan smartly forgoes arugula and goat cheese, instead opting to garnish with a mixture of mascarpone, yogurt, and simple syrup that’s charged in a nitrogen canister. It takes on a featherweight texture like whipped cream, is topped with dill, freeze-dried raspberry, and a sprinkle of black pepper and, violà, you’ve got a beet salad in cocktail form.

On its surface, this sounds like mixology shenanigans gone awry. But Chan’s a skilled bartender who spent five years at Angel’s Share and won the Bacardi Legacy Global Cocktail Competition last year. The beet drink is good. The beet flavor is subtle and nicely acidic. There’s a touch of rum sweetness, and the yogurt-mascarpone cream is something you’d be happy to eat in cannoli.

The intimate setting plays well to Chan’s strengths. Before he became a bartender, he worked as an industrial designer in his native Taiwan, where he was also, for a decade, a street magician. A natural entertainer, he’s effortlessly easy with people and has a eye for unexpected style — evident in his self-described “crazy hair,” and floral apron.