When choosing what drink to celebrate with, I recommend sticking close to recipes that only require a few healthy ingredients and which include better-for-you spirits, such as vodka. This refreshing cardamom vodka fizz is a breeze to make and is lightly sweetened with fragrant cardamom syrup (super easy recipe for syrup included below, too).
A Healthier Cocktail for the Holidays
Vodka is produced through the distillation and the end result of the process is a spirit that is approximately 40% ethanol and 60% water. Many colored spirits are mixed with food coloring, generally making vodka and gin a safer bet. When it comes to vodka, most are gluten-free, and like anything you eat or drink, try to get organic vodka when you can — avoiding vodka with added flavorings.
Benefits of Cardamom
The star of this recipe is cardamom, a spice that is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Arabic cuisine. With a distinctive flavor that compliments both sweet and savory recipes, cardamom contains phytochemicals that have both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
Studies have also found that cardamom reduces overall cholesterol and LDL particles, which indirectly improves heart health.
If you want to shake this recipe up a little bit, you could replace the orange juice with another citrus such as grapefruit or lemon). I also recommend using slices of whatever citrus you plan to use, alongside cinnamon sticks and star anise for garnish.
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup whole cardamom pods, crushed
- 1 cup raw honey
- ½ cup vodka
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 tablespoons cardamom syrup
- ½ cup tonic water (with no added sweeteners)
- ¼ cup small ice cubes
- 2 cinnamon sticks, for garnish
- 2 fresh orange slices, for garnish
- 2 star anise, for garnish
- To make the syrup, combine water and crushed cardamom pods in a medium skillet over high heat. Bring to a boil before reducing heat to low. Stir in the honey and mix well until dissolved.
- Allow the mixture to simmer for the next 15 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes before straining out the cardamom.
- Combine the vodka, orange juice, and cardamom syrup in a cocktail shaker or a jar with a lid. Shake well to mix the flavors together.
- Divide the vodka mixture evenly between 2 glasses with ice, and top off the glass with tonic water.
- Garnish each glass with an orange slice, a cinnamon stick, and a star anise.
If you don’t own a cocktail shaker or a jar with a lid, simply combine the ingredients into a large jar and stir well until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.