Sweeten your everyday!




he first time I had this whiskey cocktail I was at a Sacramento, California, staple, The Snug. This bar has inventive cocktails that tease the palate and the mind, putting forth combinations you tell yourself would never work. Carrots and whiskey? How could the vegetal flavors mix with the heady burn of the liquor?

But mix well they do! My version, the Carrot Whiskey Winter Sour, is as close to the one I sipped on in The Snug so many years ago. Roasting the carrots brings out a smoky sweetness that complements the heat of the whiskey. Wintry spices like cinnamon and nutmeg drive warmth while the fresh lemon juice offers a refreshing zing.

It’s the sort of drink that brings to mind the inventiveness of the 21st century mixed with the nostalgia of the ’70s. Its vivid orange hue and cozy spice make me want to lounge on a shag carpet, a crackling fire illuminating the scene while snow swirls outside.

In order to capitalize on this in the produce aisle, you might need to coax shoppers into associating it with another vegetable-forward cocktail: the Bloody Mary. Once the familiar is established, folks will be more inclined to try the Carrot Whiskey Winter Sour.

Cheers to warming the soul, embracing the fresh, and, as always, keeping it classy.


1½ oz Japanese whiskey (my preferred is Suntory Toki)

1½ oz spiced carrot purée (recipe below)

4 carrots

1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp olive oil

¾ oz fresh lemon juice

½ oz orgeat syrup

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Whole nutmeg, for garnish

Optional: dried lemon wheel, for garnish


Time: 30 mins

Servings: 1


1. For the carrot purée: On a sheet pan, spread out carrots and lightly spray with olive oil. Roast in the oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Cut into ½" pieces. In a food processor or blender, combine roasted carrots with cinnamon, fennel seeds, lemon juice, and orgeat syrup. Blend until smooth. Add 2 tbsp of water if needed; consistency should be wet, but not exceptionally runny. Keep refrigerated for up to a week.

2. For the Carrot Winter Sour: In a cocktail shaker, combine carrot purée, whiskey of choice, and bitters. Fill with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a cocktail glass. Grate a little fresh nutmeg over top. Garnish with dried lemon wheel if preferred. Enjoy!