• March 16, 2017

    Rose & Cardamom Cocktail

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    We can thank Iran for the delicious rose and cardamom flavour combination, typically infused directly into hot black tea (which is then served with cubes of sugar on the side, no milk). It’s so refreshing.

    I had my first sip in a Persian friend’s kitchen during my second year of university. I’d just moved to Vancouver from the opposite coast, and I didn’t really know anyone. In one of my enormous, overwhelmingly populated classes, I often sat near a girl named Fariba. We’d discuss notes and assignments in passing, and after a few brief chats, she invited me over to her home for tea.  It was one of the first acts of hospitality I was offered in my new town, and I’ll always remember. It caught me off guard. I was fairly introverted at the time, and had never been invited over by a virtual stranger. I remember sitting at her sunny table nibbling on a date while she rustled around her freezer for some Persian sweets she had stashed and her daughter walked downstairs in pyjamas.

    Fariba was the first to show me that inviting people in for tea is a magical gesture. Acquaintances are quickly transformed into friendships over a kitchen table. There’s something about the casualness, the familiarity, and the hominess. It’s so much sweeter than meeting at a coffee shop.

    She and I have since parted ways, but I still think of her often, and will always admire her warmth and generosity as a friend and hostess, as well as her incredible home-cooked food. (I miss you, Fariba, if you’re reading this!)

    Infused simple syrups are the easiest way to make killer cocktails (see Dark & Stormy, Merry Manhattan, Rosemary-Grapefruit Gin Fizz). But beyond booze, I’ve been enjoying this Rose & Cardamom syrup in in hot tea, lattes, fruit salad, over ice cream and yogurt as well as in the iced tea cocktail pictured. It would be heavenly with Gulab Jamun (Indian syrup-soaked doughnuts made with mostly with powdered milk and just a bit of flour) or drizzled over poundcake. Or used to sweeten whipped cream for lots of different kinds of desserts. I can’t not think of delicious ways to use it.

    I found my rose petals in the tea section of a bulk food store (if they’re safe for tea, they’re safe to eat). Look for edible or culinary rose petals and/or rosebuds such as these. Please don’t use potpourri

    For the cocktail, you can buy unsweetened iced tea or you can make it real quick using my 10-minute method.

    Rose & Cardamom Cocktail

    Persian tea-inspired rose and cardamom cocktails with an easy homemade syrup.
    Course: Drinks
    Cuisine: Middle Eastern
    Author: Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD


    For Syrup

    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup water
    • 12 green cardamom pods
    • 3 heaped tablespoons food-grade rose petals see note in post

    For cocktails

    • 1-2 oz bourbon
    • 1-2 oz syrup
    • iced tea unsweetened storebought or homemade


    • To make syrup, combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat and let stand to infuse for 1 hour. Strain into an airtight jar and refrigerate for up to three months.
    • To make cocktails, stir 1 oz each of bourbon and syrup together in a glass. Fill with ice and top up with iced tea. Add more syrup and/or bourbon to taste.
    Tried this recipe?tag @foodess


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    Hi, I'm Jennifer Pallian, BSc, RD. I studied cooking, baking and food chemistry in a university lab, have years of experience as a professional test kitchen recipe developer and providing technical baking support to bakeries and home bakers. Want to know why your bread didn't rise? I've got your back.I now work full-time as a blogger, putting the years of science and baking to work right here. On Foodess, I share the best recipes in my arsenal - tested-till-PERFECT recipes for cozy baking, easy recipes for weeknight meals and delicious globally-inspired comfort food, plus lots of science-based cooking and baking tips. Welcome!

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