For Nowruz 1400, we were lucky enough to have dinner at Chef Amir Hajimaleki’s pop-up restaurant, Roya. He consistently provides the most amazing Persian food under the sun, and this time he even created Persian-themed cocktails! My favorite cocktail was the Ajeel, with stolichnaya elite vodka, pistachio orgeat, golden raisin puree, lime, and walnut bitters. I learned that Ajeel is what you call the mix of nuts and fruits that you put on top of your tahdig, or eat as trail mix. As we’re all still in COVID lockdown (although I’m halfway vaccinated!) now seems like a great time to create this delicious drink at home.Print
Stolichnaya Elite Vodka
Lime for Juicing
- 2 cups raw, shelled pistachios
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1/2 tsp orange flower water
- 1 ounce vodka
Golden Raisin Puree:
- 1 cup golden raisins
- water to cover
- Cherry from Morabah Albaloo or Amarena Cherry
- Candied Orange Peel
- Pulse pistachios in a food processor until finely ground.
- Combine the sugar and water in a pot over medium heat and stir until sugar dissolves completely.
- Boil the syrup for three minutes, then add in the ground pistachios.
- Turn the heat down to low and simmer for another three minutes, then slowly increase the temperature to medium high.
- Just before it starts to boil, remove it from the heat and cover with a lid.
- Allow the covered nut mixture to infuse for at least 3 hours or up to 8 hours.
- Then, strain it through two layers of cheesecloth, discarding the ground pistachios for another use.
- Stir the orange flower water and vodka into the nutty syrup.
- Use a small funnel to portion the orgeat into bottles or a jar.
- Store in refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Golden Raisin Puree:
- Place the raisins in a small sauce pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes until the raisins are plump.
- Drain the raisins, reserving 1 tablespoon of the cooking liquid.
- Place the raisins and the cooking liquid in a food processor or high powered blender and puree for 1 minute until completely smooth.
- Remove the puree from the food processor and set aside.
Once your ingredients are prepared, it’s time to make cocktails!
Fill your ice shaker with ice and add:
- 1.5 oz vodka
- 1 oz pistachio orgeat
- .5 oz golden raisin puree
- .5 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
- 2 dashes walnut bitters
Shake vigorously to create a good foam, and strain into coup glass.
Garnish with orange peel and a cherry.