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The Rooibos Cocktail at The Aviary in Chicago

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Uploaded on Apr 29, 2011

Like a mad scientist's hot toddy, the Rooibos is a mix of Rooibos tea, lemon peel, orange peel, almond, vanilla, lemon verbena, mint, saffron, lavender, peppercorn, cardamom, Hendrick's gin, Luxardo maraschino liqueur, citric acid, simple syrup, and water. A vac pot, which has an upper and a lower chamber is placed at the table, dry ingredients in the top chamber and wet in the bottom. And because playing with fire at a table full of booze has to be the most dangerously fun idea ever, a small gas burner is placed under the lower chamber to bring it to a boil. Once boiling, it forms a vacuum, drawing the liquid into the top chamber and is flash infused, turning a cheery orange and filling the air with citrus and aromatics. After a quick stir with a cinnamon stick the burner is turned off, the liquid drops back into the pot and the cocktail gets poured. It's redolent of citrus, with a solid herbal punch from the gin and a nice subtle spice underlying the whole thing. It's the perfect antidote for chilly spring evenings and as it cools it gets an almost old school orange candy flavor. Plus, it's far more fun to watch than anyone could expect, especially under dim lounge lighting.

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