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Sweet Potato Pie
Avant-garde comfort food… as a cocktail? The idea may seem like a different kind of multivalent tongue twister, but that’s exactly what Woodlake Tavern’s bar manager Brett Walker was going for with the North Sacramento restaurant’s new Sweet Potato Pie liquid dessert. “It’s rich and warming, something you just want to sit with and maybe not even with a meal,” Walker says. The colorful drink is a little bit sweet, a little bit savory, a little bit Southern and—topped with vibrant magenta beet-infused whipped cream—a little bit out there.
Walker starts by melting creamy butter batter—made in-house with roasted sweet potatoes and spices like cinnamon and chili powder—in hot water, and adds Corbin Cash rye whiskey (distilled from, wait for it, sweet potatoes) and Zaya aged rum. A leaf of fried sage and from-scratch whipped cream enlivened with pink peppercorns, beets, sage, orange zest and ground ginger crown the wintry adult beverage.
For Walker, it’s all about creating flavor profiles that are familiar, but in an unfamiliar way. “I’m trying to break the mold by putting things together that you wouldn’t normally think would go together [in a cocktail],” he says. “You might see root vegetables roasted with sage and you eat them—but how do you drink them?” Take it from us—it’s easy as pie. $11. 1431 Del Paso Blvd. 916-514-0405. woodlaketavern.com —J.R.