Thursday, April 29, 2010

moroccan old fashioned

2 oz Old Overholt Rye
1/4 oz Berber Syrup (* see below)
1 dash Regan's Orange Bitters
1 dash Angostura Bitters
2 Orange Peels

Muddle an orange peel with rye, syrup, and bitters in a rocks glass. Add ice and garnish with a fresh orange peel twist and straws.

On Saturday, I spent the day in Nashua, New Hampshire, so for dinner, I made the trek up to Manchester to visit the Republic Cafe for dinner. Sean Frederick was not behind the bar but working the floor that night, and he recommended that I try the Moroccan Old Fashioned. Sean mentioned that the drink uses a syrup that they use in the flavored coffee they serve in the morning (3 oz coffee, 1 oz cream, 1 oz syrup) and that it worked surprisingly well with rye whiskey. On the menu, the drink had the caption, "American spirit tempered by sweet Berber spice" and it seemed like the perfect drink to go with my vegetable tangine.
The Old Fashioned's nose was filled with fresh orange oils. The sip was a spicy rye flavor with an even spicier swallow; indeed, there were two distinct waves of spice. The spices that stood out the most were the cardamom and allspice. As the ice melted and the drink diluted, the orange notes from the bitters and muddled peel came to the forefront. Sean later provided me with the recipe and mentioned that he wanted to experiment with adding coriander, chili, and peppercorns to the mix to more authentically represent the Berber spice palate. However, I did not feel shorted in the least by this version for it was quite flavorful and matched their kitchen's spices well.
Berber Syrup
2 Whole Star Anise Pods
1 1/2 Cinnamon Sticks (3 inch), coarsely cracked
2 rounded barspoon decorticated Cardamom Seeds
2 Black Cardamom Pods
20 Cloves
16 Allspice Berries, cracked
2 cup Sugar
2 cup Water
Combine all spices in medium saucepan, and toast over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add water and sugar, stir well, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow ingredients to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight. Finely strain spices from mixture and keep syrup refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting this. I love that drink and was very interested in the recipe. I'll have to make the syrup soon!

Gene Goodale said...

This is a great variation of the Old Fashioned. I was given some of the Berber syrup and now make them at home. The Republic is my favorite restaurant AND bar. I haven't seen Sean there in a while. Jack is my guy behind the bar.

frederic said...

Sean has been tending bar at the Citizen Public House in Boston for the last year or two (although I think he was doing some overlap for a while). You can see some of the drinks he's made us here:

Gene Goodale said...

Thanks Frederic, I'll have to check out the Citizen.

Unknown said...

This is still my absolute favorite drink. At Republic, or anywhere!