It’s been a while since I last tortured you with a culinarily inspired original cocktail with at least one difficult or nearly impossible to obtain ingredient.
Since this is a sort of “variation” on the Bull-Dog Cocktail, I thought I’d put it up.
I was paging through the February, 2008, Gourmet magazine. You know, looking for recipes that wouldn’t involve a million steps, a million dollars, or a trip to the gourmet grocery store. I ran across a dessert topping (or is it a floor wax?) which involved Clementines in a Spiced Ginger Syrup.
I had clementines and all the spices required.
But, then, I thought, hey! if that’s not a drink, I don’t know what is.
So in the original recipe we’ve got a syrup spiced with ginger, star anise, and cardamom. Sliced Clementines. And a pomegranate seed garnish.
How to parse that out and translate it into drink-i-ness.
The easiest way would be to simply make the syrup as the recipe calls for, pick a spirit, add clementine juice, and away you go.
Ha, we do not take the easy way! (Actually, we do take the easy way, as there is no pesky pantry work involved here.)
4 Cardamom Pods
2 oz Pisco (I used Alto del Carmen)
Grenadine, hopefully homemade
1 oz Clementine Juice (or Mandarin)
1/8 oz Clandestine La Bleu Absinthe** (or another not too wormwoody Blanche)
Bundaberg Ginger Beer (or other spicy ginger beer or ale)
Cardamom Leaf (Yeah, I know. I’m probably one of three people in North America with a Cardamom plant. You can order one of your own from: Mountain Valley Growers. Failing Cardamom, use Thai Basil. Failing Thai Basil, Mint.)
Crush 4 cardamom pods and combine with 2 oz Pisco in a mixing glass. (Ok, we’ve got our cardamom.) After at least an half an hour, or whenever you finish making dinner, cover the bottom of a collins glass with grenadine. (Ok, we’ve got our pomegranate.) In a mixing tin, combine the Pisco, Clementine Juice, (Uh, duh, clementines,) and the Absinthe (OK, we’ve got our Anise.) Ice and shake. Add ice cubes to the highball glass and strain the Pisco mixture in. Top up the glass with ginger ale. (Ta da! We’ve got ginger!) Spank a cardamom leaf and add it to the glass. Serve with a straw and/or swizzle.
I think it was pretty true to the original Gourmet recipe and Mrs. Underhill gave it the thumbs up.
*According to this website, the Clementine, “…was created at the beginning of the 20th Century in Algeria by a French missionary by the name of Clément Dozier, hence the name Clementine.” Hence the name Dozier Cooler.
**The original recipe is supposedly based on the spices used in Algerian sweets. If you really wanted to stick to North Africa/Middle East, you could use Lebanese Arak instead of Absinthe.