In 2017, Jeff Naples—the Beard Behind the Bar—flew from Iowa to Ohio to participate in our Roots Conference. In fact, before the unusual circumstances of 2020, he flew all over the country, providing consultation services and otherwise moving the mixology industry forward in unique ways.
We’re happy to say that he enjoyed our culinary conference in 2017—and here’s a quote:
“I feel as though I’m jumping into a world of rock stars. I really am a big fanboy! My goal is to help bring cocktail and culinary together to the point where creating cocktails is seen as an exciting career to have, not just something you do while you’re putting yourself through college. I’m very interested in both spreading my knowledge and learning from chefs about how to discover even more ways to add healthy ingredients into drinks. I also want to say that farmers truly are the unsung heroes. Without them, I couldn’t do my work. Because of them, creating cocktails with farm-fresh produce allows us to all come full circle.”
Fast-forwarding to 2020, we’ve collaborated again—this time, with Jeff creating five incredible cocktails that use farm-fresh ingredients from The Chef’s Garden.
“I look to create drinks,” Jeff says, “that complement the taste of food, rather than simply creating drinks that people like. So, this meant I needed to study why people like certain drinks with certain foods, and what they’re trying to convey with a particular flavor.”
People he credits for providing insights include Culinary Vegetable Institute Chef Jamie Simpson, with Farmer Lee Jones and Bob Jones, Jr. sharing invaluable information about agriculture, including but not limited to the role that healthy soil plays in nutritious, flavorful produce.
Now, on to the cocktail recipes!
Orange Bell Pepper Pineapple Gimlet
This refreshing gimlet recipe uses just six ingredients to create an elegantly beautiful cocktail, with a glass rimmed with contrasting red beet root powder.
Our red beets are sweet and nutty, perfect for this gimlet recipe.
This unique beet recipe in a glass includes cognac, orange liqueur (or fresh orange), fresh lemon, and an unforgettable beet and lemon verbena cordial.
Roasted Jalapeño Cocktail
With this jalapeño cocktail, you control the heat by choosing whether or not to add additional peppers. Other ingredients include pineapple juice, lime juice, and honey, along with petite cilantro.
Purple Potato Cocktail
This potato cocktail highlights our purple potato in a deliciously refreshing way, including in a purée. Plus, you can use the cilantro that you ordered for your jalapeño cocktail in this unique cocktail, as well.
Beet and Lemon Verbena Ramos Gin Fizz
This Ramos gin fizz also spotlights our marvellously sweet red beets and our lemon verbena, although with a few other ingredients, including heavy cream, lime juice, and egg whites.
“Drinks really should highlight—not overpower—a meal,” Jeff says. “As I’m creating recipes, I look for ways to add to the meal, not subtract from it. I use ingredients and tools that people can have in their own kitchens. I want people to enjoy food and drink in a balanced way to create an experience to truly savor and to spark the mind to try new things, to open up new horizons.”
Here’s more about the Beard Behind the Bar and here’s more about farm-fresh vegetables, herbs and more available for order at our farm.