Drink of the Week: Milk & Honey’s Unbeetable

Photo by Nik Blaskovich
Photo by Nik Blaskovich

Milk & Honey is about to lose its “honey.” In other words, Lesley Wood, who helped start the business in 2006 along with Alcazar’s Alvarado Rojas, is moving on and out of Santa Barbara to San Diego. She’s been a nightly fixture at the restaurant/bar since December 2006, when she was busy wearing overalls and painting the walls a deep red right before they opened. (Since Milk & Honey’s opening, however, she’s traded in work clothes for black dresses.)

She’s also responsible for a lot of the drinks on the menu, and we’ve tried a few over the years. For our last visit with Lesley, we called up a recent drink we ordered a month or two ago outside our Drink of the Week working hours.

The UnBEETable is the first pickled beet cocktail we’ve had and we liked it very much. Our second pass was just as pleasing, and if you like a pickle-tini, then the peppery, briny taste of the UnBEETable is for you. Lesley starts with Broker’s gin, adds juice from the local Pacific Pickle Works’ jar of beets and balances that with dashes of lemon and ginger juices. It really comes down to the particular brand of beet brine/juice, and Pacific Pickle Works’ is full of wonderful spices and such.

The drink has a kick, especially if your eyes trick your tongue and makes it expect a fruit drink. The garnish of pickled beets makes it even better. It’s our Drink of the Week, and we raise our glass to Miss Wood and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors! (You still have a chance to say goodbye – she will be around for a few more weeks.)

2 ounces Broker’s gin
1/2 ounce Pacific Pickle Works’ beet juice
Dash lemon juice
Dash pressed ginger juice

Combine all ingredients in shaker over ice and shake. Strain into cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist and a few chunks of pickled beets.

Milk & Honey
30 W. Anapamu St. 275-4232 or www.milknhoneytapas.com

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