Hip mixologists are putting an unlikely ingredient in their cocktails: turmeric.
The New York Times recently reported on use of the spice — dubbed by some as a “superfood” — in craft beverages. Besides giving drinks a golden hue, turmeric is also packed with health benefits.
“Popularity and Instagram,” one cocktail bar owner told the Times, characterizing the spice’s popularity. “I don’t know how many things can take hold without the benefit of social media these days.”
Common in Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, turmeric is packed with antioxidants that can help slow down the effects of aging, improve brain function, lower the risk of heart disease, and fight depression.
All of these health benefits are made possible through a particular chemical in turmeric, curcumin, which also gives turmeric its bright coloring.
The New York Times report says that bartenders are adding a syrup or ground turmeric root to cocktail recipes — drinks with names like “Always Sunny” (based on a ginger liqueur) and “Bitterroot Flip” (a shochu drink). One recipe takes the complex Last Word cocktail, which includes Green Chartreuse, gin, and fresh lime juice, and replaces a Maraschino liqueur with turmeric drinking vinegar.
Given turmeric’s gorgeous pigment, adding turmeric to drinks can make them both healthier and more beautiful — perfect for posting on social media.
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