Hannah Drake

Cardamom Coconut Gin Fizz

EntertainingHannah DrakeComment

Next up in the Cocktail of the Month series is one that I’m really excited about, especially with the weather warming up. I first made it a couple of months ago when we had some friends over for dinner. I was making masala lamb and wanted to find a cocktail that would go nicely with the dinner. After doing some research, I found this drink from Cooking with Books. I wanted something that would have some of the same flavours from Indian food (cardamom and coconut) but was made in a refreshing way to balance the heat that is sometimes found in the cuisine. Granted, what we made wasn’t spicy by any means, but it was still a great compliment to our menu.

CARDAMOM COCONUT GIN FIZZ

  • 2 ounces coconut water

  • 1 1/2 ounce gin

  • 1/2 ounce elder flower liqueur (St. Germain)

  • 1/2 ounce cardamom simple syrup (recipe below)

  • splash of lemon juice

  • tonic water

  • star anise, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add coconut water, gin, elder flower liqueur, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled.

Pour into a high ball glass filled with ice. Top with a splash (or squeeze) of lemon juice and tonic water.

Garnish with one star anise.

RECIPE NOTES

If you’re not a fan of gin, you can substitute vodka instead.

Coconut water can be quite syrupy, so combined with the elder flower liqueur and cardamom simple syrup, it can be quite thick. If you’re worried about the balance, only add 1 ounce of coconut water and add more tonic water instead.

CARDAMOM SIMPLE SYRUP

  • 1 cup cool water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 2 Tablespoons cardamom pods

Add the ingredients to a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 7 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, strain, then chill for 1 hour before using. Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 1 month.

ALL ABOUT SIMPLE SYRUP

I’ve been obsessed with simple syrups over the last couple of months. It’s such a simple way to add a burst of flavour to your drink. A true simple syrup is one part cool water and one part sugar, but you can flavour them with anything you want. I’ve made more complex simple syrups (like my gingerbread iteration), but the one-to-one ratio is a great place to start. You can double or half the recipe easily depending on how much you want to make. However, you can store simple syrup in a sealed container (I use Mason jars) in the refrigerator for some time.

WHAT MAKES THIS A FIZZ COCKTAIL

I’ll admit that I used to think any fizzy cocktail, either with tonic water, soda water, or even prosecco or champagne was considered a fizz. But technically, in order to be considered a fizz, the cocktail needs these two defining features: acidic juice (lemon, lime, orange juice) and carbonated water (tonic or soda). A gin fizz is the most popular type and popular variations often include gin.

The fizz first appeared in the 1887 edition of Jerry Thomas's Bartender's Guide with six fizz recipes. It gained popularity in the States between 1900 and the 1940’s, particularly in New Orleans, Louisiana, where bartenders were employed specifically to make fizzes. It was included in the French cookbook L'Art Culinaire Francais, published in 1950, gaining popularity in Europe.

In the UK, the Buck’s Fizz is popular at Christmastime, which is a variant on a mimosa and still considered a fizz. (A Buck’s Fizz has two parts champagne, one part orange juice. A mimosa has equal parts champagne and orange juice.)

HOW TO SERVE THIS COCKTAIL

A gin fizz is traditionally served in a highball glass. (Also known as a collins glass or delmonico, which are actually slightly different, but interchangeable for a home bar.) A chilled glass is ideal, but the important thing is the increased volume from a smaller cocktail glass to between 10 to 16 ounces, depending on your glass. For a more traditional gin fizz (or a variant on the traditional cocktail), you’ll go heavy on the ice, but the increased volume is necessary for the larger portion of mixer (the tonic water).

CARDAMOM COCONUT MOCKTAIL FIZZ

  • 2 ounces coconut water

  • 1/2 ounce elder flower cordial

  • 1/2 ounce cardamom simple syrup

  • dash of lemon juice

  • tonic water

  • star anise, to garnish

DIRECTIONS

Add coconut water, elder flower cordial, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until chilled.

Pour into a high ball glass filled with ice. Top with a splash (or squeeze) of lemon juice and tonic water.

Garnish with one star anise.

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