3 Lebanese-inspired cocktails to make at home

Our award-winning bartender Behzad Nvaziri shows us how to make three perfectly refreshing Lebaese-inspired cocktails.

Middle Eastern food tends to walk that intoxicating balance between rich, heady aromas and palette-refreshing flavours. The magic of The Star’s Bar Tikram is that here, those qualities are liquified and served up in a pretty, chilled glass.

The man responsible for Bar Tikram’s complex but easy-drinking cocktails is award-winning bartender Behzad Nvaziri, who uses traditional Lebanese favours – such as pistachio, pomegranate, rose and orange blossom – as the foundation of his unique drinks menu. Just in time for the last month of summer, we got him to share his three favourite Lebanese-inspired cocktail recipes.

Bartenders preparing drinks at Bar Tikram
Bartenders preparing drinks at Bar Tikram
Anaar

The secret ingredient of Bar Tikram’s Anaar cocktail is fresh pomegranate juice, which balances out the richer flavours of sumac spice and cachaça with its sweetness and acidity. You’ll get the best results at home if you freshly juice the pomegranate, but if you’re short on time and equipment, you can always use store-bought pomegranate juice.

Ingredients

  • 45ml cachaça
  • 20ml lemon juice (plus extra to rim glass)
  • Juice of half a pomegrate
  • 15ml sumac-infused simple syrup
  • Ground sumac (for garnish)
  • Lemon peel (for garnish)

Method

  1. To make simple syrup, combine equal parts white sugar and water in a saucepan, adding sumac to taste. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool. You can always store any leftover simple syrup in a jar for later use.
  2. Fill a small shallow bowl with extra lemon juice, and another small shallow bowl with sumac. Dip the rim of a tumbler first in the lemon juice, then in the sumac, to create a rim.
  3. Fill the tumbler with the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, cachaça and 15ml of the simple syrup.
  4. Top with ice and stir, adding the twist of lemon peel for garnish.
Anaar Cocktail at Bar Tikram
Anaar Cocktail at Bar Tikram
Lemonada

The idea of Behzad’s Lemonada cocktail is simple: to evoke the childhood memory of drinking a cool glass of lemonade. The cocktail version contains an adult twist and some extra bright flavours for added complexity, but the result is just as refreshing on a hot summer’s day. Best of all, it is delightfully simple to make.

The Lemonada cocktail at Bar Tikram
The Lemonada cocktail at Bar Tikram

Ingredients

  • Slice of lemon (for garnish)
  • 30ml fresh lemon juice
  • 25ml lemon oleo saccharum
  • Soda water (to top)
  • Mint (for garnish)

Method

Fill a tall glass with ice and your slice of lemon. Pour in your lemon juice and lemon oleo saccharum, and top with soda. Stir, add a sprig of mint for garnish, and serve.

Turkish Delight

In Bar Tikram’s Turkish Delight cocktail, traditional sweet flavours of Middle Eastern cuisine are combined with the freshness of coconut water for a contemporary twist, perfectly suited for al fresco dining in the Australian summer.

Ingredients

  • 20ml fresh lemon juice (plus extra to rim glass)
  • Coconut and rose powder (for garnish)
  • 10ml rose syrup
  • 45ml vodka
  • 60ml coconut water
  • Soda water (to top)

Method

  1. Fill a small shallow bowl with lemon juice, and another small shallow bowl with coconut and rose powder. Dip the rim of a tall glass first in the extra lemon juice, then in the powder, to create a rim around the glass.
  2. Combine your rose syrup, lemon juice, vodka and coconut water into the tall glass and stir.Fill the glass with ice, top with soda water, and serve.
Turkish Delight cocktail at Bar Tikram
Turkish Delight cocktail at Bar Tikram