Cocktail Challenge: caraway seeds | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

Cocktail Challenge: caraway seeds 

A Carnivale-esque twist to pastrami on pump

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The caraway seed-infused Caralac

The caraway seed-infused Caralac

Alison Green

When Carnivale bartender Luis Rodriguez received his challenge, caraway seed, from the Paramount Room's Allison Hagio, he says the first thing he thought of was a pastrami sandwich, the meat piled high on pumpernickel bread. As it happened, Carnivale executive chef David Dworshak had some house-made pastrami on hand. Coiled on a toothpick, it serves as the garnish for Rodriguez's "very Carnivale-like" cocktail based on tomato water, made from tomatoes grown on the restaurant's roof, and Bombay gin infused with toasted caraway seeds.

The Caralac

½ oz lime juice
½ oz agave nectar
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz Bombay gin infused with toasted caraway seeds
1 oz tomato water (strained, freshly squeezed juice)
dash of Angostura bitters
slice of pastrami

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake with crushed ice and strain into a chilled martini glass, garnishing with a slice of pastrami rolled up and speared on a toothpick.

The sweetness of the agave and Lillet balance the acid of the tomato water and lime juice, Rodriguez said, "but the caraway seed is the main star."

Who's Next:

Rodriguez has challenged Patrick Henaghan of Michael Jordan's Steak House and Roka Akor with chicken bouillon, "cube or powder."

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