Mumbai Mule

This savory-sweet, vodka-based cocktail gets a kick from toasted coriander, cumin, cardamom, and saffron as well as loads of fresh ginger.

For the Spiced Ginger Syrup:

**Makes 1 cup, enough for 8 drinks**
2 teaspoons coriander seed
1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
Seeds from 5 green cardamom pods
A big pinch of saffron threads (about 1/16 teaspoon)
3/4 cup organic blonde cane sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup chopped fresh ginger root (2.25 ounces / 65 grams)

Per Mule:

2 ounces (1/4 cup) vodka (I used Hangar 1)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) spiced ginger syrup (above)
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) strained fresh lemon juice ,ice ,sparkling water and mint sprig

Make the Spiced Ginger Syrup:

In a small, heavy skillet, combine the coriander, cumin, and cardamom seeds and saffron. Heat over a medium flame, shuffling the pan frequently, to toast the spices until they are fragrant and start to pop, 30 seconds once the pan is hot.

Meanwhile, stir together the sugar with the boiling water until dissolved (or mostly dissolved). Add the syrup, toasted spices, and ginger to a blender and blend until fairly smooth. Strain the syrup through a very fine mesh strainer, pressing on the solids to extract the good stuff. Use immediately or (preferably) chill the syrup until cold, at least 1 hour and up to several days.

Make the Mules:

In a shaker or jar, stir together the vodka, ginger syrup, and lemon juice for 30 seconds. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice, top off with sparkling water, and top with a mint sprig. Taste, adding more lemon or syrup if you feel the drink needs it. Enjoy immediately.

The Mumbai Mule is an Indian twist on the Moscow Mule, which was crafted in 1941 and gained popularity in the 1950s. The tantalizing spices  are symbolic of affluence. Traditionally Mogul Emperors were known to carry Cardamom pods in little boxes to chew. In some cultures today, it has a reputation of bringing good luck.