We were thrilled to partner with our friends at Nielsen-Massey for the James Beard Awards reception this year. It was so exciting to be serving our cocktail to the culinary greats from all over the globe – we saw many old friends and made some new ones! Read more about that experience here.
We wanted to create a drink that highlighted both one of our spirits and a couple of the great extracts made over at Nielsen-Massey. We have worked with them before, in fact, we use their Tahitian vanilla beans to make out Tahitian Vanilla Vodka and they taught us a lot about vanilla.
We knew our Aquavit-Private Reserve was the spirit for the flavor balance we were looking for in the cocktail itself, and we employed a spray mister with our garnish to add an extra pop of aromatics.
The Chicago Standard
1½ oz Aquavit – Private Reserve
¾ oz Cardamom Vanilla Syrup (see below)
½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
Dash Angostura Bitters
Shake ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with an orange peel rose, then mist with a blend of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract and Orange Extract (80% orange, 20% vanilla).
Cardamom Vanilla Syrup
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup water
2 tbsp Cardamom Seeds
1½ tsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
Add sugar, water and cardamom seeds to a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring often. Simmer for 6-7 minutes, then remove from heat and cool. Strain out the cardamom seeds, and then add the vanilla extract. Stir well, then store in the refrigerator for up to one month.