Next Unusual Ingredient to Make Its Way Into Your Cocktail? Corn.

The juicing craze is carrying over into our cocktails: bartenders are mixing beets and booze. And now, it’s not even uncommon anymore to find drinks with ingredients like kale, carrots, and celery. But the most recent rising star from the produce aisle? Corn.

Finally, corn is being recognized for its contributions to the craft cocktail movement. Mash that makes everything from whiskey to vodka often contains corn in addition to the typical barley and rye. But the juice (called milk) or puree of kernels from an ear of corn is unexpectedly sweet and versatile when paired with, say, mezcal or tequila.

Caitlin Corcoran, while bartending in Kansas City’s Port Fonda, even won the Paris of the Plains Bartending Competition last year with a corn-laden cocktail: corn milk (a popular drink in Thailand, Vietnam, and other parts of Asia), corn cream (inspired by Momofuku Milk Bar‘s cereal milk), popcorn grits, and corn- and chili-infused tequila.

Harvest season in New York is just around the corner (June through August), so expect to see more of it behind the bars here sooner rather than later. And then, who knows which veg will crop up next?

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