Bartender Kevin Diedrich, the general manager of and a partner in San Francisco’s Pacific Cocktail Haven (PCH) and Night Market, first came across pandan during his global travels. “Pandan is often used like vanilla in Asia and across the Pacific Islands,” he says. “It adds a nutty, grassy buttered-popcorn note to cocktails when done right.” He employs it at PCH in a salted pandan syrup, pandan oleo saccharum and, in this Negroni riff, a pandan cordial. When purchasing pandan, he recommends seeking out fresh leaves, as frozen ones can lack depth and taste too much like wet cut grass.
- 1 ounce coconut oil-washed Campari*
- 1/2 ounce Sipsmith VJOP gin
- 3/4 ounce pandan cordial**
- Rinse: Bittermens Tiki bitters
- Garnish: pandan leaf
Rinse a rocks glass with the Tiki bitters, then discard excess and set glass aside.
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until well-chilled.
Strain into the prepared rocks glass over one large cube.
Garnish with a pandan leaf.
*Coconut-oil-washed Campari: Warm 3 ounces coconut oil (such as Trader Joe’s virgin coconut oil) until the fat turns to liquid. Pour the oil into a nonreactive container along with 8 ounces Campari, and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours. Place the container into a freezer for an hour or until the oil freezes. Strain out fat solids through a clean oil filter. Store tightly covered.
**Pandan cordial: Combine 4 ounces Everclear and 3 pandan leaves tied in a knot in an airtight container. Let sit for 48 hours, Strain out leaves. Add 6 ounces simple syrup and stir to combine.