february 22, 2022
Nearly all cocktail recipes in this collection of recipes may be enjoyed alcohol-free as mocktails. Today’s Clementine Cardamom Cocktail is no exception. This is a good thing, for kids and everyone else who avoids spirits. An attractive seasonal beverage, with or without spirits, is a reliable conversation starter and always welcome at the table. What made you think of these flavors? Very likely whatever is in season and paired with herbs and spices not used in past recipes.
One of my first cocktail recipes was tangerine and rosemary for a cool winter libation. Clementines are peak this time of year, but if you want to substitute citrus like tangelo or grapefruit, the flavored simple syrup will partner well. This winter cocktail could not be easier. Cardamom simple syrup is made ahead to develop maximum flavor. Chilled clementines and vodka are at the ready for last minute mixing.
Whole green cardamom pods are plentiful in asian markets. They keep for months in a dark corner of your spice cabinet. Smash them before adding to simple syrup to release flavor from the seeds. Although vodka, with its clean taste, is the perfect vehicle for citrus cocktails, feel free to use what’s at hand.
Clementine Cardamom Cocktail
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
⅓ cup whole green cardamom pods
1 cup cane sugar
1 cup water
strained juice of clementines
plain seltzer for mocktails
- For cardamom syrup, use heel of hand and wide end of heavy chef’s knife to flatten some of the pods and set aside.
- In small heavy saucepan, combine sugar and water, bring to simmer, stirring occasionally, and simmer for one minute.
- Add smashed cardamom pods, cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
- Flavor is strong (and best) after one week – strain simple syrup and use pods to flavor other beverages like iced tea.
- Cardamom simple syrup keeps well in the fridge for a couple of months.
- For cocktail, combine 2 ounces clementine juice with 2 ounces of vodka, adding simple syrup to taste : 1 tablespoon for mild flavor and 2 tablespoons for more flavorful drink.
- Serve over ice or shake with ice and strain into glass.
- For mocktail, combine 2 ounces clementine juice with 3 tablespoons cardamom syrup and pour over ice; top with seltzer.