Spiced-Up Spirits: Introducing the Exotic Cocktails at Sarma
Oleanaâ€™s spice collection gets put to boozy use at Sarma.
When Island Creek Oyster Bar alum Vikram Hegde came aboard as bar manager at the new Somerville meze bar Sarma, he was given free rein over a creative barmanâ€™s gold mine: the expansive spice selection at Sarmaâ€™s big sister, Oleana, which has never served the hard stuff because its license is for only beer and wine.
Hegdeâ€™s experimentation has paid off: Combining Oleanaâ€™s spice collection with Sarmaâ€™s full liquor license has yielded cocktails enhanced with exotic components like mellow-hot Aleppo pepper flakes, citrusy sumac, and rich, tart pomegranate molasses. â€śItâ€™s opened my eyes to a lot of flavor profiles,â€ť he says.
One particularly exciting and challenging ingredient Hegde encountered in the development process was mastic, the resin from a Mediterranean shrub, which is widely used in Turkish and Greek desserts and libations. â€śIt tastes like anise seed, celery, white pepper, and a little bit of raw carrot,â€ť Hegde says of the complex yet subtly sweet substance. Youâ€™ll find it in the Hippodrome, a take on the mint julep that blends mastic syrup with rhum agricole, lime juice, and sage.
Source URL: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/restaurants/article/2013/09/24/spice-cocktails-sarma-somerville/