Since today is Halloween, I thought I’d bring back from the (almost) dead a cocktail I first tried at Leon’s Full Service in Decatur, GA, a few years back. At the time, Miles Macquarrie shared the recipe, and we did a quick little video showing off Leon’s bar and the making of the drink itself. Miles is now slinging excellent drinks at sister restaurant Kimball House (go. now. for oyster happy hour 5-7pm. and great cocktails. really.), but brought back this drink for Fall. It’s great for easing into the cooler weather, a mix of house-made apple-cardamom syrup, gin, Liquore Strega (Italian for witch), a bit of lemon, and an absinthe rinse. Full recipe below.

Leon’s Full Service: Miles & the Witch Hunt from Thirsty South on Vimeo.

The Witch Hunt

1.5 oz Dry Fly gin (or similar)
3/4 oz apple cardamom syrup (see below)
1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
1/4 oz Strega liqueur
Absinthe for glass rinse
Orange peel for garnish

Rinse cocktail glass with absinthe, combine all other liquid ingredients in cocktail shaker, shake vigorously with ice, strain into cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel into glass and drop in!

Apple Cardamom Syrup

Combine 1 cup water, 2 cups granulated sugar, and 1/4 cup cracked green cardamom pods in saucepan. Simmer over Med-High for 5 minutes, until very fragrant. Add 3 cups fresh pressed apple juice, simmer until reduced in half (roughly 15 to 20 minutes). Strain, cool, add a dash of neutral spirit as preservative, may be refrigerated up to 2 weeks.

Kimball House

The bar at Kimball House