Yes, another cocktail recipe. Yes, it’s been a busy few days. Days made for take out, in fact. But before you label me a complete slacker, let me point out that there is actually cooking involved in this drink: so there.

Here’s the story: the other day I was shopping on Atlantic Avenue and somehow ended up buying just about my body weight in bulk spices. (Ahem….which may be why the last couple of recipes have been a little heavy on the cardamom.) This afternoon I decided throw a few star anise together with a sprig of cinnamon, turbinado sugar, and the last of the blood oranges lingering in my fruit bowl. Then, I stirred the potion that resulted — a spiced blood orange syrup — together with rum and almond syrup in a improvised, vaguely tiki-inflected evening tipple I dubbed the Sticky Mess: a delicious way to celebrate a vacation from the kitchen.


1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice, pulp strained out (about 3 oranges)
2 star anise
3 cardamom pods, crushed
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 cup turbinado sugar
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon pomegranate molasses

Wrap spices and pulp and rind of one blood orange in cheesecloth and tie into a small bundle with kitchen twine. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm orange juice to a simmer. Drop the spice bundle into the juice, turn off heat, and let steep for 5 minutes. Meantime, in a separate saucepan over medium-high heat, combine sugar and water and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until the sugar has completely dissolved and the liquid is a clear amber. Stir in spiced orange juice and pomegranate molasses and continue to simmer until the syrup has reduced by a third and thickened, about 10 minutes. Makes approximately 1 cup.


1 oz rhum barbancourt
1 oz spiced blood orange syrup
1/2 oz orgeat
1 oz Lillet blanc

Combine all ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker. Stir vigorously for 1 minute. Strain into an ice-filled old fashioned glass. Garnish with lime.


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