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Spiced Silan Bourbon Cocktail

The caramelized, dark, and complex flavors of both bourbon and silan make them seem like long-lost friends reunited in a glass. By infusing the silan with the warmest of spices plus a bit of a kick courtesy of a dried hot chili, you’ve got a winning elixir on your hands. The longer you infuse the syrup, the deeper its flavors become. I like to serve this cocktail with my Seeded Za’atar Crackers, at cocktail hour; the sweet-edged drink and the super-savory, crunchy crackers are a killer combination.


Silan Syrup:

(Makes ¾ cup)

1 cup silan (date syrup)

1 cinnamon stick

10 whole black peppercorns

10 whole cloves

4 cardamom pods

1 small dried hot chili pepper, such as chile de arbol


4 ounces (½ cup) bourbon

1½ ounces (3 tablespoons) silan (date syrup)

Orange twists


Make the syrup: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the silan, 2 tablespoons water, cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pods, and dried chili. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the mixture thickens slightly, 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool for 10 minutes, transfer to a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid, cover, and let sit for at least 1 hour and up to 1 week in the fridge.


If you like, remove and discard the cinnamon stick, peppercorns, cloves, and cardamom pod or just leave them in and they’ll remain in the cocktail strainer when you make your drinks). Sealed in an airtight jar, the syrup lasts for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

Make the cocktail: In an ice-filled cocktail shaker, vigorously shake the bourbon and silan. Strain into two ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each glass with an orange twist.

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