Istanbul: the cocktail

December 10, 2016

It's 110% cocktail season, which is pretty much the best news since sliced bread, and this one from Pomme Larmoyer’s Istanbul Cult Recipes is an absolute gem of a boozy bev.


You don't have to be nestled in the bustling hub of Istanbul to sink this one...just put on something flowing and colourful, play something a little like this  and then soak it all in baby. Maybe get some Shisha happening too.




Istanbul is a cocktail: a fine mix of styles, the new and the old. Müzedechanga, a pioneering restaurant of the new Turkish cuisine, has created a rakı cocktail named after the city. It’s best enjoyed on their terrace overlooking the Bosphorus. 


Preparation time: 5 minutes

Makes 1 glass


½ mandarin*, cut into 5 wedges

20 ml (1 fl oz) sugar syrup

40 ml (2 fl oz) vodka

20 ml (1 fl oz) rakı

20 ml (1 fl oz) lemon juice

crushed ice


Use a pestle to crush the pieces of mandarin with the sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker. Add the vodka, rakı, lemon juice and a big handful of crushed ice. Close the shaker, shake vigorously and serve in a pretty glass.


*At Müzedechanga, the mandarins used to come from Bodrum, a city in the southwest of Turkey, and have a very particular flavour and appearance (green outside, orange inside). It may be a little hard to justify going to Bodrum for a cocktail, so you can replace them with ordinary mandarins or bitter Seville oranges.





Images and recipes from Istanbul Cult Recipes by Pomme Larmoyer (Murdoch Books $49.99)


Pomme Larmoyer is a food writer, editor and traveller. She believes you can learn everything you need to know about a country from its kitchens and enjoys talking with other people from other cultures about their style of food.

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