Summer is a great time to grill sweet potatoes, but if you're getting parched during backyard entertaining, add sweet potatoes to your beverage bar. Sweet potatoes are an outstanding addition to cocktails!
Incorporating sweet potatoes into cocktails adds nutritional benefits and enhances other flavors since sweet potatoes themselves aren't overpowering. Depending on how the sweet potato is prepared for the cocktail, you can get Vitamin A from the juice or simple syrup, and added fiber benefits by pureeing. Sweet potatoes pair well with apple, peach, and orange juice, and coffee - flavors that have distinctly sweet or bitter notes. The addition of cardamom or cinnamon can add a spicy twist to a cocktail too.
If you're in the South you can support regional growers and distilleries by using locally-sourced ingredients. At-home cocktails can be crafted to highlight the notoriety of southern states. Since North Carolina has been the nation's top-producing sweet potato grower for more than 40 years, these vegetables are easily found in excess here. Choose your bourbon from Kentucky, whiskey from Tennessee, or you can even find non-traditionally southern items created in North Carolina. Fair Game Beverage Company, just south of Chapel Hill, produces vodka, rum, and brandy. Plus, Social House Vodka's distillery is not far from our sweet potato farm in Eastern North Carolina.
As the summer moves forward, take the southern theme for your cocktails even further with a seasonal splash of peach juice from a Georgia peach or a North Carolina apple. Peaches are harvested through mid-August in Georgia, and apple season in North Carolina starts in late August. Since sweet potatoes are so versatile, the North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission gathered not one, two or three cocktail recipes, but 7 Sweet Potato Cocktails! Make time to taste test and let us know which one is your favorite on Twitter @BoyetteBrothers and Facebook.