Firecracker

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Main Ingredient: Beverage Alcohol
Menu Part: Beverage
Cuisine Type: Asian
Serves: 25

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.

Ingredients

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

Steps

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. 

Additional Tips

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.)