An Indian variation on the Amber Road, which was originally posted by Food & Wine magazine. The original recipe calls for maple syrup, lemon juice, Aperol, bourbon, bitters and topped with club soda. Check out out the video by Through The Mixing Glass for a fun breakdown!
Jaggery is a natural, vegan unrefined sweetner that is made from the sap of coconut and date palm trees. The sugar is tapped from the trees, similar to maple syrup, and is boiled down until it’s solidified. The flavor profile is rich with the nutty and slightly bitter notes of molasses and brown sugar. When re-liquified, it’s slightly thicker than honey, but not as sweet.
There are many health benefits to jaggery and is often used in Ayurvedic medicines. Jaggery is also known as Gur in various Indian languages. While jaggery is popular in India and various South Asian countries, it has very close cousins several countries and continents:
Sukari nguuru from Kenya
Gula Jawa/Aren from Indonesia
Kokuto from Japan
Sangkaka from Philippines
Piloncillo or Pilon from Mexico
Panela from Central America
Regardless of what it’s called, it’s delicious and is perfect when used in cocktails and cooking. My variation of the Amber Road keeps the structure in place, while introducing some common Desi flavors.
Firstly, I subbed the maple syrup for a home-made Jaggery Syrup. Instead of lemon juice, I used lime juice, mainly because the citrus available in India is closer to lime in flavor then lemons. Lastly, I used Campari instead of Aperol, because of the slightly higher proof. The bitterness of Campari also balances really well with nutty notes of Jaggery and is balanced by the Angostura Bitters.
1 cup Jaggery
1 and 1/4 cup water
In a small saucepan, add Jaggery and let it soften
Careful that it doesn’t burn at the bottom
Add water and stir until it’s fully liquefied
Let cool before using
1.5 oz Bourbon or Rye
1 oz Campari
0.5 oz Lime Juice
0.5 oz Jaggery Syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
In a cocktail shaker, add all ingredients except club soda
Add ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds
Pour over rocks into an tall highball glass
Top with 1-2 oz of club soda
Garnish with fresh sprigs of mint, rosemary or basil