Maharaja Buck Cocktail Recipe

If, like me, you have fond memories of your great-grandmother's homemade jam, fear not. There is a modern-day interpretation at the bar.

Mixologists are turning to fresh, seasonal preserves as a solid contribution to cocktail creations. This is more than a store-bought jar of Smuckers, or a sickly sweet fruity drink that will cause you to run for the exit and to the neighboring bar. Fruits and veggies on the savory side are making their way into cocktail-perfect jams too, such as tamarind, tangelos, and figs.

It's yet another way to fold in farm-fresh ingredients, whether the jam is prepared in-house with locally grown fruits or vegetables, or purchased from a small-scale producer that likely sources its products from nearby orchards.

Jam is popping up in cocktails at places like Anvil Bar & Refuge in Houston, where bartender Matt Tanner devised "The Maharaja Buck." Flavors of cardamom, lime, turmeric and ginger mingle with tamarind jam.

Madam Geneva in New York City (a bar and lounge adjacent to Double Crown) rotates artisanal jams so that you don't get bored. Order one of three preserves or jams — recently it was Pineapple Vanilla Bean, Fig Honey, or Summer Berry Yuzu — presented over ice with Beefeater Gin or 42 Below Vodka. At least two more New York City bars are in on the trend, with "Shu Jam Fizz" (apricot jam, DH Krahn gin, fennel-infused agave, peach bitters, fresh lemon, and soda) at The Summit Bar and "Blackberry Jam" (blackberry jam, blackberry Stoli vodka and ginger beer) at Common Ground Bar & Restaurant. And down South, in Winter Park, Florida, you can order a "Gin & Jam" at The Ravenous Pig (housemade rhubarb jam, Nicholas gin, and housemade sour).

Maharaja Buck Cocktail Recipe
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  • 1 1/2 ounces cardamom gin
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce tamarind syrup
  • 1/2 ounce tamarind jam
  • ginger beer
  • Lime wheel
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