Old Sevillian

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To learn more about this recipe, see our related story, Made in China.

Old Sevillian

Recipe from Travis Owens, Curio at Harvest, Columbus, OH

Yield: 1 cocktail

Cook Time: 25 minutes


Chinese five-spice syrup
3 cups demerara sugar
8 whole star anise pods
1½  tablespoon fennel seed
One 3-inch cinnamon stick, broken
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon peppercorns
6 black cardamom pods

1 slice orange
2 brandied cherries, plus 1 for garnish
2½ ounces bourbon
½ ounce Chinese five-spice syrup
1 teaspoon Seville orange marmalade
5 drops hellfire bitters
4 drops mole bitters
One 4-inch orange peel


1. Make the syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the sugar and 2 cups of water until the sugar is completely dissolved. Place the star anise, fennel seed, cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns and cardamom in a spice or coffee grinder and process to a coarse powder. Heat a stainless-steel pot over medium heat until hot; add the spices and toast, shaking the pan frequently, until the powder slightly smokes and becomes fragrant. Add the syrup to the pan with the toasted spices and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat; remove from the heat and let cool. Strain the syrup through a fine strainer; place in a lidded container and store in the refrigerator until using.

2. Make the cocktail: In a cocktail shaker, add the orange slice and 2 cherries. Crush with a wooden muddler or wooden kitchen spoon. Add the bourbon, five-spice syrup, marmalade and bitters and fill the shaker with ice; shake until well chilled. Double-strain through a fine-mesh sieve into an Old-Fashioned glass filled with a large cube of ice. Garnish with a wide strip of orange zest and the remaining cherry.

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