Under a Crescent Moon
Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupe.
Garnish with a lemon twist.
My first introduction to cardamom was in a Turkish coffee I ordered in an Instanbul cafe overlooking the Sea of Marmara during an overnight layover. I was so enamored with the floral, slightly minty flavor that I got a bit over-caffeinated. A recent visit to Peregrine Espresso in DC’s Union Market brought that memory to the fore, as their drink special was a cardamom and rose water cappucino. It was a perfect combination, and I keep going back hoping they’ll put it on their menu.
To tide me over, I’ve combined those flavors in this week’s cocktail. Honey simple syrup seems a logical choice for integrating the aromatics, so I combine 1/2 cup of honey, 1/2 cup water and 1 ounce of rose water in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of cardamom seeds. I bring the mixture to a boil then let it cool before straining out the seeds.
Thinking that the mellowness of cold brew iced coffee will make for a smoother cocktail, I pick up a bottle of Chameleon Cold-Brew Organic Black Coffee concentrate. I grab a shaker full of ice and pour in one-and-a-half ounces of Tito’s Vodka with one ounce of the cold brew concentrate and a half ounce each of water and the cardamom and rose water honey simple syrup. I shake it vigorously, then strain it into a coupe. A quick taste tells me it needs a touch of acid, so I garnish with a lemon twist.
The finished product reminds me not only of that delicious cappucino, but also of that trip to Turkey, the highlight of which occurred moments before we took a cab to the airport and looked up to see a crescent moon nestled close to a bright star as the call to prayer issued just before sunrise. It was one of those unexpected gifts of travel and is why I’ve named this cocktail “Under a Crescent Moon.”
Cardamom & Rose Water Honey Simple Syrup Recipe
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup water
1 oz rose water
1 tbs cardamom seeds
Combine ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, let cool, then strain. Makes 1 cup.