One of Chicago restaurant Gaijin’s boozy takes on the Japanese shaved ice dessert called kakigori, this sweet treat starts with pandan that’s macerated into a rich concentrated syrup. Julius H. White Jr., the restaurant’s general manager and beverage director, was drawn to using pandan after pastry director Angelyne Canicosa used it in ice cream and as a glaze for mochi donuts. “Pandan is known for its unique tropical and herbaceous notes,” says White.
- 1/2 ounce Ki No Bi gin (or other herbaceous dry gin)
- 1/2 ounce Soho lychee liqueur
- 2 1/2 ounces pandan syrup*
- 2 1/2 ounces sweetened coconut milk syrup**
- Garnish: pandan leaf, sliced
Add the gin and lychee liqueur into a carafe and set aside.
Fill a Collins glass with finely shaved or very finely crushed ice.
Drizzle 1/3 of coconut milk syrup and pandan syrup onto ice.
Add more ice to top the cup again and repeat drizzling the syrups over the ice.
Add a final layer of ice to mound over the top of the glass to resemble a snow cone.
Drizzle with both syrups a final time.
Place a sliced pandan leaf in the top middle of the ice mound.
Slowly pour the gin and lychee liqueur mixture over the top in a circular motion.
Serve with a spoon and a straw.
*Pandan syrup: Add 3 1/2 cups frozen chopped pandan leaves, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup water and 1 dash McCormick pandan extract to an airtight container. Cover and let sit overnight. Strain out leaves, being sure to extract maximum amount of liquid. Syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to one week.
**Sweetened coconut milk syrup: Add 2 cups coconut milk, 1/3 cup granulated sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt to a blender. Blend well to combine. Will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to one week.