While we personally don't celebrate Chinese New Year we love any excuse to make themed cocktails. Here we're leveraging traditional foods and flavors to file a three-fer to help you ring in the Year of the Sheep. A symbolic flavor profile runs through each drink; tangerines represent luck and good fortune and Chinese five spice lends a familiar flavor combination that's a great complement to brown spirits (and gin). Gān bēi!
Chinese 5 Spice Syrup
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon Chinese 5 spice powder
In a small pan add the sugar and 5 spice powder. Whisk together so they're well mixed and add the water.
Whisk all ingredients so they're integrated, put the pot over high heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally so the sugar dissolves.
Let the syrup cool before using. Since the 5 spice powder doesn't dissolve you can either strain the syrup or refrigerate it overnight (the powder and syrup will naturally separate)
The Terracotta Warrior
- 2 ounces rye whiskey
- 1/4 ounce Chinese 5 spice syrup
- 1 thin slice of a tangerine
- 3-4 dashes Mrs. Lee's Ancient Chinese Secret Bitters (if you can't find these you can use orange bitters or your favorite spicy bitters)
In an old fashioned glass add the tangerine slice, syrup, and bitters. Muddle the fruit, but avoid crushing the pith and peel so it's not bitter.
Add a large ice cube and your rye. Stir thoroughly to mix everything and serve.
- 2 ounces bourbon
- 3/4 ounce Chinese 5 spice syrup
- 3/4 ounce tangerine juice (an average tangerine yields about ounces of juice so squeeze accordingly
- Optional: 2 dashes Mrs. Lee's Ancient Chinese Secret Bitters
Add ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for a solid 15-20 seconds. Double strain into a coupe glass to remove any pulp and serve.
- 1/2 ounce London dry gin
- 1/2 ounce tangerine juice
- 1/2 ounce Bitterman's Amere Nouvelle liqueur
- 1/2 ounce Green Chartreuse
- 1/4 ounce 5 spice syrup
- 2 dashes Mrs. Lee's Ancient Chinese Secret Bitters (again, you can sub more traditional Angostura Bitters or orange bitters here)
- 1 ounce club soda
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake for 15-20 seconds.
Fill a Collins or highball glass with crushed ice. Double strain the cocktail into the glass and add the club soda. Give it a gentle stir, insert a straw, and serve.