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changemaker's cocktail

Friday night is NYC’s annual Change Maker’s Ball, a benefit for Self Help Africa, where the most popular invitee will surely be the Change Maker’s Cocktail. It’s for a very good cause: SHA is one of the world’s leading organizations dedicated to empowering rural Africa to achieve economic independence. Renowned mixologist Joann Spiegel took on the challenge of designing the perfect cocktail, more than worthy of that Benjamin burning a hole in your pocket. Yes, this delicious concoction will run you a sweet hundo. 

“I wanted to make a drink which told a story and incorporated traditional flavors of Africa,” says Spiegel. “I thought I should incorporate Tej honey wine — Tej is a traditional mead wine made in Ethiopia for centuriesthought to be one of the oldest alcoholic beverages ever produced.” 

Featuring African citrus, rooibos tea and a sweet and spicy plantain garnish, the Change Maker’s Cocktail already lives up to its name. A stuffy gin and tonic, it is not.   

To make the garnish, thinly slice plantains, sprinkle with chili powder and sugar, and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until crisp.