At L.A.'s Ledlow, bartender Jeremiah Doherty aims for unexpected, but sophisticated, flavor combinations—like cardamom and tequila. In this cocktail, Suerte Blanco tequila and ground cardamom make for an interesting, "east meets west" duo; Suerte uses Blue Weber Agave that is grown in mineral-rich soils in Mexico's Jalisco highlands. After distillation, they allow the tequila to rest for 2 months in stainless steel, making for a smooth, citrus taste that blends well with the floral spice.
Cardamom Simple Syrup
- 25 lightly crushed green cardamom pods
- Cheesecloth and kitchen twine, for steeping
- 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2 oz. Suerte Blanco tequila
- 3⁄4 oz. cardamom simple syrup
- 3⁄4 oz. freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
- 1⁄4 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice, plus lime slice for garnish
For the syrup: Wrap cardamom in cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine into a tight packet; set aside. Combine sugar and water in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and add cheesecloth packet. Let syrup cool completely and chill overnight. Remove packet and refrigerate syrup until ready to use.
For the cocktail: Combine tequila, syrup, and juices in an ice-filled shaker. Strain into a rocks glass with 1 large cube; garnish with lime slice.