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Spices You Should Consider Adding to Your Cocktails

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For many years, adding spices to cocktails was an art form known only among a select few. Today, bartenders across the country are using spices to elevate the flavor of their cocktail creations.

Bartenders infuse spices with various syrups and spirits, or simply add them directly into the drink. So with that in mind, here are 5 spices that you may want to consider adding to your cocktails in order to take them to the next level.

Star Anise

Smithsonian Mag states that star anise has a mild and fragrant licorice flavor. When using it to make a cocktail, its flavor truly comes out with lighter drinks such as champagne. A tiny, dried petal can add a whole new dimension of flavor and aroma, so make sure to use only a small pinch per drink.

Recommendation:

In a tall glass, mix 4 oz. of Champagne, 2 oz. of orange juice with a dash of homemade Grenadine and 1 dried petal of star anise. Add ice and stir for 10 seconds. Pour into a Champagne flute and top with a pinch of sugar.

Peppercorns

Black pepper is a common spice that everyone has on their dinner table. While normally used to add flavor to savory food, it is also used in cocktails to add a fiery kick. It is possible to add different levels of flavor and heat through using different types of peppercorns – green and white are much milder. Black pepper is a versatile spice that works with many different spirits, and can be mixed with sugar and water to form a spicy syrup (mix 1 cup of water, 1 cup of sugar, and 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns, stir over a medium heat for 5-10 minutes, then leave to cool and strain).

Recommendation:

This syrup can be used to add an extra flavor to classic cocktails such as an Old Fashioned. You will need 2 oz. of rye whiskey, ½ oz. peppercorn syrup, 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Add directly to a glass with ice and stir.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice frequently associated with the colder months and used to add warmth to both food and drinks. Foxy Bingo in their feature on cinnamon, reveal that it is found in stick, powder, or dried form. Cinnamon sticks and powder are the most commonly used, and both are key components of a variety of cocktails, as Bustle shows in their list of 10 cinnamon cocktails. Cinnamon syrup is also commonly used to add a sweetness and thickness to drinks.

Recommendation:

Cinnamon is great with rum. Fill a shaker with 1.5 oz. of dark rum, 1/2 oz. of lemon juice, and 1/2 oz. of cinnamon syrup. Shake, and then pour into a glass. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a cinnamon stick.

Coriander Seeds

This spice has a sweet and toasty flavor. It also has notes of citrus and leaves drinks with a peppery note. If you like the taste of the aforementioned flavors, you might want to try the gin and tonic below.

Recommendation:

Muddle coriander seeds and rosemary with 2 oz. of gin. Top up with tonic water and add a charred lemon for garnish. Coriander seeds are the second most important botanical in gin, and in this cocktail, the spice enhances the flavors of the spirit.

Cumin

The Bojon Gourmet states that cumin is a good spice to use in cocktails to give your drink a subtle background heat. It can also give cocktails a savory taste, as well as enhance the flavors of citrus-based drinks.

Recommendation:

In a shaker, combine 2 oz. of Gin, 3/4 oz. of lemon juice, 1/2oz. simple syrup and a healthy pinch of cumin. Shake the mixture and then pour into a rocks glass. Top with Ginger Ale and garnish with a mint bouquet.

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