It’s no secret that fresh-squeezed juice is critical to making great cocktails.
But what would happen if a juice bar started slinging alcoholic drinks of their own?
The experiment is currently underway in Indianapolis. The Garden Table, a cold-pressed juice company, just opened a farm-to-table restaurant near Downtown.
The new location includes a full kitchen, a Third-Wave cafe, and a cocktail bar featuring the transcendent flavors of fresh-pressed juice.
Not Another Health Craze
Healthy cocktails are a sort of trend right now, but I would not put The Garden Table in this niche. They seem to elevate beyond the category, not creating healthy drinks because they’re popular, but because it’s all they know how to do.
The Garden Table has used their cold-press prowess to create a cocktail menu full of delicious and truly unique flavor combinations.
The Garden Table goes way beyond lemons and limes for their juice. They experiment with everything from cashews to jalapeño, all pressed daily in-house. Nearly all of their original cocktails feature one of their cold-pressed juice blends, but the bar is always coming up with new flavor combinations.
“Having a massive commercial juicer in house means the possibilities are endless,” said Jessie Kelley, co-owner of The Garden Table.
The cold-pressed juice menu reads somewhat like a cocktail menu: fun names followed by a list of mouthwatering flavor combinations:
Apple, Orange, Spinach, Kale, Cilantro, Jalapeño, and Lime
Pineapple, Kale, Spinach, Parsley, Lemon, Aloe, and Mint
Watermelon, Ruby Grapefruit, Coconut Water, Lime, and Basil
Red Beet, Carrot, Apple, Celery, Lemon,Turmeric, Ginger, and Black Pepper
These juice blends are like supermixers for cocktails. The ultra-fresh approach lets you experience familiar spirits in an entirely new way.
The current cocktails include:
Sipsmith gin, house Tropic Tonic juice, lime, simple syrup, mint & lime garnish.
The Hot Koala
La Caravedo Pisco, Hoosier Heater juice, lime, pineapple syrup, eucalyptus bitters, prosecco, pomegranate seeds garnish
St. George’s Green Chile vodka, green tomato juice, lime, rosemary-sage simple syrup, and a pepper leather garnish.
The drinks also feature homemade syrups and several local spirits, meaning you’d be hard-pressed to find the same cocktail anywhere else in the world.
The Pros and Cons of Running a Farm-to-Table Bar
While the benefits of running a farm-to-table bar are clear, there are also limitations on the ingredients available.
“What we have in-house is constantly rotating, so garnishes and such can change daily,” said bar manager Craig Rogers, “But it is also the most exciting part about it. Our drinks are constantly evolving.”
The Garden Table plans to change their menu seasonally and the staff are constantly coming up with concoctions of their own (See “Barista’s Second Choice” below).
No matter what drink you choose, you can be sure it will be fresh, flavorful, and totally unique.