Whilst watching a terrific old episode of The Galloping Gourmet the other day, Graham Kerr reminded me of what a fantastic combination lemon and cardamom make. And this time of year we are always looking for a cool cocktail to moderate the 105° temperatures. I think that this classic fits the bill.
- 40 whole cardamom pods, coarsely cracked with the side of a heavy knife
- 1 cup sugar or honey
- 3 cups good water
- 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 750 ml bottle inexpensive asti – you want something sweet and light, not syrupy. Our current favorite is Cinzano Asti available at BevMo and probably a grocery store near you.
- Good ice
- Lemon slices and mint leaves for garnish
Method:Combine cracked cardamom pods, sugar or honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, attending carefully so it does not begin to caramelize. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours – this may be done up to three days in advance.
Strain into a 3 quart pitcher. Add lemon juice and Asti. Depending on the honey/sugar/Asti used, you may want to add additional sweetening now. Serve in tall, generously iced glasses with a slice of lemon in the glass and a sprig of mint atop, if desired.
Makes 6 servings. Serves 1.