Last week our Facebook Live in the Craft Cocktail Club just happened to fall on Valentine’s Day, so we made a dark red drink to commemorate! This cocktail, called “Can’t Be Beet” features beet root powder, Tingala liqueur, and black pepper simple syrup, is a savory, delicious and spunky take on a whiskey sour.

Ready to fall in love with this one? Jump to the recipe here.

How to Make the “Can’t be Beet” Cocktail

OK, this cocktail is probably not like anything you’ve had before because of all these distinct ingredients. The Tingala liqueur creates a mouthfeel I don’t know I’ve ever experienced. Tingly? That’s a good word for it. And it’s delayed! You’ll feel the effects on your tongue and roof of your mouth 1-2 minutes after you expect it. Mixed with the earthy quality of beets and the pepper flavor, it’s not spicy but is very savory.

Working with this cocktail, we learned a couple tricks that should help you make the Can’t Be Beet (and other cocktails) more easily:


Using Beet Powder in Cocktails

  • You can buy it at any natural grocery store or even on Amazon.
  • Warning; it clumps! Use our oversized fine mesh strainer like a siv, along with a spoon to break up the powder when making the simple syrup.
  • If you want to batch the simple syrup for your beverage program, you can use a chinois strainer with cheesecloth or the fabulous AeroPress to strain the syrup.


What about Pepper syrup?

  • Be careful that the pepper syrup doesn’t sting your eyes! Cops use pepper spray for a reason… just sayin’.
  • For a deeper flavor, you can roast the black pepper before making your simple syrup.


Egg White Sour, Please

  • We added egg white to create foam and calm down some of the intense flavors of pepper and the Tingala liqueur. This is something you can try in other cocktails, too.
  • The egg white foam will hold the stenciled shape, which is another bonus for using egg whites. (More tips for stencils below!)
  • We prefer a dry shake when using egg whites (and egg white alternatives like aquafaba). This creates a thicker, more velvety foam than the (super trendy) reverse dry shake.  (To dry shake, shake once without ice in a shaker, then add ice and shake again.)


Tips for Stencil Work

  • Use a food-safe marker when drawing on your stencil material; you don’t want your drink to taste like a Sharpie!
  • The closer you hold the stencil to the drink, the more accurate your picture will be.
  • Sprinkling the beet powder on top and using the lemon rind adds a wonderful aroma to your drink, which makes the experience even more pleasant. (Chris talked with hot cocktail expert Bradley Thomas Stephens about garnishes back in January, and it’s definitely a great reminder that each addition should have a purpose!)


Loving this cocktail?

Let us know in the comments or in our Facebook group how this worked out for you; we’d love to hear all about your personal modifications, including what you’d name this cocktail.



Did you see that beautiful copper bar set we’re using? Scroll down for the link!


Beet and Black Pepper Sour Cocktail

Can’t be Beet

5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Servings: 1 cocktails


Cocktail Ingredients

  • 1.5 oz Bourbon
  • .5 oz Tingala Liqueur
  • 1.0 oz Beetroot and Black Pepper Syrup
  • 1.0 oz Lemon Juice
  • .75 oz Egg White

Beetroot and Black Pepper Syrup

  • .50 cup Hot Water
  • .50 cup Turbinado Sugar/Brown Sugar
  • .50 tsp Beetroot Powder
  • tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper


Cocktail Instructions

  • Add all ingredients to a Boston shaker without ice.
  • Dry shake to build egg white foam.
  • Add ice and shake to chill and dilute.
  • Add a large format ice cube to a rocks glass and fine strain.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist or a beet powder stencil.

Sub Ingredient Instructions

  • Add all ingredients together and mix well.
  • Allow to cool.
  • Fine strain before use.


The best of the basics. This kit includes the three tools you need to make most common cocktails: a trusty two-piece Boston shaker, a Hawthorne cocktail strainer and a two-sided jigger. All in a beautiful mirrored copper finish!