Turmeric Takes A Leap From The Kitchen To The Cocktail Glass

Turmeric, a spice widely praised as a curative superfood is showing up in a different kind of medication. According to the NY Times, every upscale bar menu these days seems to have at least one drink containing the spice.

There is no single reason for this. And the two most significant ones sit on opposite ends of the serious-to-superficial spectrum.

On one hand, turmeric is riding its current reputation as a superfood with anti-inflammatory powers — a big selling point at a time when bars are straining to sell the idea that cocktails can be healthful. On the other hand, it’s pretty. Turmeric turns every cocktail into a sunshiny glass of Instagram bait.

“Popularity and Instagram,” said John Clark-Ginnetti, an owner of the New Haven cocktail bar 116 Crown, summing up the buzzworthy spice’s appeal. “I don’t know how many things can take hold without the benefit of social media these days.”

Getting the spice into cocktails can be labour-intensive, and not as simple as sprinkling ground turmeric into a drink. Bartenders often use fresh turmeric root, a tincture or a syrup.

On the flip side, the spice can play havoc with bar equipment. It stains everything yellow.