This sophisticated, wildly creative original comes to us from Stan Usinowicz, creative beverage director of the progressive top-tier mixology program at Boulder’s own Japango. It features two very unique ingredients, both of which are simple to make at home. The first is a house-made cardamom ginger beer, a unique ingredient which can be approximated at home by making a cardamom syrup to blend with ginger beer. Begin by boiling 1 cup of water with 1/4 cup of whole cardamom and 2 cups of sugar. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is fully dissolved, about 10 minutes. This cardamom simple syrup will keep in the fridge for several weeks. The second is a strawberry-shiso shrub maceration. You can create this by taking a pound of fresh strawberries, halved, stirring in 2 tablespoons of sugar, and letting them stand at room temperature until the juices are released, about 30 minutes. Using this maceration as the base, add a dash of rice vinegar and fresh shiso leaf, available at Asian markets.
To make the cocktail, mix 0.5 ounces of Vodka 14, 0.25 ounces of Liquore Strega, 0.5 ounces of ginger beer, a splash of cardamom syrup, and 0.75 ounces of the strawberry-shiso shrub maceration. Shake and strain into a Collins glass. Dust with ground pink peppercorns and garnish with an edible flower pedals.