Nico de Soto, the founder and owner of several bars including Mace in New York City, describes pandan as having a very unique taste with a long finish. “It gives [cocktails] a kind of nutty, cooked rice, vanilla flavor,” he says. “Now that it’s more available, people realize how complex a taste it has.” De Soto believes pandan is best used in drinks that infuse it in a spirit or a syrup. When shopping for pandan, be sure to choose leaves in which its distinctive aroma is most pronounced, he advises.
For this drink from his bar Danico in Paris, de Soto combines absinthe, coconut milk and a whole egg with syrup made by blending pandan leaves with simple syrup and pandan extract.
- 1 ounce Pernod absinthe
- 1 ounce coconut milk
- 1 ounce pandan syrup*
- 1 whole egg
- Garnish: grated nutmeg
Add all ingredients into a shaker and dry-shake (without ice) vigorously.
Add ice and shake again until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled fluted glass.
Garnish with grated nutmeg
*Pandan syrup: Slice 4 pandan leaves and add to a blender with 1 cup simple syrup. Add 2 drops pandan extract and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine, then strain through a Superbag, cheesecloth or coffee filter into an airtight container and refrigerate.