Panaka - Tini

By • October 16, 2014 0 Comments

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Author Notes: Flavored vodkas are great, but they don't come nearly as close to infusing your own. This way, there is no limit to the different flavors that you can introduce to your mixed drinks. This is especially true if you want to introduce classic Indian flavors to your mixology experiments (Unless of course, Smirnoff decides to come up with these flavors overnight)!

I've tried experimenting with about 1/2 a dozen flavors of infused spirits, from fruits to a combination of spices. This drink, the Dirty Desi makes use of a vodka infused with cardamom & dried ginger. The proportions are flexible, I smashed up a 1 inch piece of dried ginger and 4-5 pods of crushed cardamon to 500 ml of vodka. Let the spices steep uninterrupted in the alcohol for a week and then filtered out the spices.
The drink itself is inspired by a 3000 year old classic beverage described in the Rig Veda, The Panakam, a divine combination of flavors from ginger, lime and cardamom. I love to serve it up as a chilled, slightly fizzy martini. Maybe it just stems from the fact that I love martini glasses, the conical shape the long stems, evokes the classy 'Bond'ish aura.


Makes 2

Flavored Vodka

  • 500 milliliters Good quality vodka
  • 1 piece 1 inch piece dried ginger root, smashed up pretty good, NOT powdered)
  • 4-5 pods whole cardamom crushed, skin & seeds
  1. Combine the ginger, cardamom and the vodka together and pour into a bottle with an airtight lid. Allow to steep for about 3-5 days. Filter and discard the spices and use the flavored vodka as needed


  • 6 fl oz. Cardamom & ginger infused vodka
  • Juice of 1 lime + the rind cut up into pieces
  • seeds from one cardamom pod, crushed
  • 1-2 teaspoon Dark brown sugar or powdered jaggery
  • 6 Fl Oz. Ginger beer.
  • Ice as required.
  1. Combine the infused vodka, lime juice, the rinds, the crushed cardamom and the sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle the mix together until the brown sugar is dissolved.
  2. Add ice and ginger beer and shake the mix to combine. Strain out into martini glasses, garnish with a slice of lime and serve.

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