For pre-dinner cocktails ahead of the tikka masala chicken and rice, I went for a cardamon-honey cocktail. I wanted to keep with the flavors of dinner and figured that making a simple syrup would be a good replacement for agave nectar I usually use with my paloma recipe.
To make the cardamon honey simple syrup, I brought to a boil an equal amount of honey and water. I then poured it over cardamon pods that I had lightly crushed in a mortar and pestle. I let the simple syrup steep until it cooled to room temperature. After I strained it, I placed it in the fridge until happy hour.
The tartness of the grapefruit is tempered by the honey simple syrup. The cardamon and star anise supply a lovely fragrance to make a light and refreshing cocktail.
Cardamon Honey Cocktail
2 ounces Tequila
2 ounces freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
1 ounce cardamom-honey simple syrup
Star anise for garnish
Combine the tequila, juice and simple syrup in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and then pour into a cocktail glass. Float a star anise pod on top.