This recipe appears in:A Spicy Twist on Fall Flavors: How to Make Danny Louie's Vasco da Gama
At Alembic in San Francisco, Danny Louie created this drink, named for the explorer who made this combination of the disparate ingredients possible. By combining bourbon, Scotch and homemade garam masala-spiced apple syrup, you get a delicious play on fall flavors that'll warm you up from the inside.
Note: Use unsweetened apple cider from your local orchard or grocery store refrigerated section for this drink.
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- For the garam masala-spiced apple syrup:
- 2 tablespoons whole coriander seed
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seed
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons black peppercorn
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 dried bird's eye chili
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cups apple cider (see note above)
- 1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
- For the cocktails:
- 4 ounces bourbon (such as Buffalo Trace)
- 1 1/2 ounces garam masala-spiced apple syrup
- 1 ounce single malt Scotch
- 2 dried apple chips for garnish
To make garam masala-spiced apple syrup, toast all spices in a medium saucepan over low heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add apple cider, and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and add sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until cider has absorbed flavor from spices, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then strain into a jar and refrigerate. Cider can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To make the cocktails, add bourbon, garam masala-spiced apple syrup, and Scotch into a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Stir until well chilled, at least 10 seconds. Add a large ice cube to two Old Fashioned glasses. Strain cocktail evenly between the two prepared glasses. Garnish each glass with a dried apple chip and serve.