Culinary cocktails are Beattie’s specialty, and this Asian-inspired cocktail doesn’t disappoint. The base is a made-from-scratch syrup infused with Szechuan peppercorns, anise, cinnamon, cloves and fennel, which beautifully complements the mandarin-orange vodka. Garnishes borrowed from the kitchen add the finishing touch.
¾ oz. Chinese Five Spice Syrup (recipe follows)
¾ oz. Hangar mandarin vodka
¾ oz. unflavored vodka
2-3 mandarin orange segments
¾ oz. lemon juice
2 kaffir lime leaves, slivered
1 oz. seltzer or club soda
Mandarins, pomegranate seeds and slivered kaffir lime leaves, for garnish
1. Prepare Chinese Five Spice Syrup; refrigerate in airtight container until ready to use.
2. In a mixing glass, combine the vodkas, mandarin segments, lemon juice, syrup, lime leaves and seltzer. Stir everything around a bit, add full measure of ice and shake a few times.
3. To serve, pour into glass and garnish with mandarins, pomegranate seeds and kaffir lime leaves, if desired.
Chinese Five-Spice Syrup
5 whole star anise pods
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 (3-in.) cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
1 tsp. whole cloves
1 tbsp. Szechuan peppercorns
2 2/3 cups simple syrup
2 tsp. honey
1. Process all spices to a coarse power in a coffee grinder.
2. Heat stainless steel saucepan over med. heat. Add spices and shake to distribute in even layer. Cook until little wisps of smoke rise up (only a few seconds). Remove pan from heat and continue shaking until aromatic, but be careful not to burn.
3. Once fragrant, add simple syrup to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and add honey. Simmer for 5 min. to infuse, then remove from heat. Let mixture cool to room temperature then strain through a fine-mesh strainer or chinois to remove any solids. (The syrup will keep for 1 month if refrigerated in airtight container.)