Autumn Spice Cocktails: Clove

The Soothsayer, a cocktail full of history


The strength of the clove is astounding in more ways than one. This is not a spice for the faint of heart, just a little clove goes a long way. While tiny and unintimidating on the outside, these dried tree flower buds native to Indonesia have a strong, distinctive personality and have made their presence known in various cultures throughout history.

Used whole or ground, clove is found in a myriad of recipes across the globe. In India, clove is found in the spice mix garam masala, and is used in many rich, spicy dishes and stews. In Mexico, clove is combined with cumin and cinnamon, which together make their way into main courses as well as desserts. In Vietnam, clove is used to season and spice the broth of the wildly popular Pho. But clove doesn’t stop there.
Clove is also used in a plethora of teas, most commonly chai, and has long been used with other carminative herbs as a natural digestive agent in liqueurs, cordials and absinthes. Clove, it seems, is a sneaky little spice. It manages to find its way into just about anything humanly ingestible, and how wondrous, as clove’s reputation is also deeply steeped in early medicinal practices. With roots in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, two cultures that continue to influence the entire world’s thoughts on the healing arts, clove becomes more impressive the further down its lineage line we go.

As for North American culture however, clove reigns supreme during late fall and well into our chilling winter months. What better a time to introduce The Soothsayer. This cocktail finds dangerous depths of flavor and pulls inspiration directly from clove’s healing properties. Create this cocktail at home while preparing for the holiday season and let its calming mojo send you tranquilly into the enchanting season.

The Soothsayer

Serves 1

2 oz Four Roses or Basil Hayden’s Bourbon
¼ oz St. Elizabeth’s All Spice Dram
5 fresh sage leaves muddled
½ oz maple syrup water (2/3 maple syrup diluted by 1/3 warm water, shaken)
½ oz fresh Meyer lemon juice
pinch grated nutmeg/clove mix (optional)
dusting of grated clove and nutmeg for garnish

Muddle sage leaves with firm pressure for 30 seconds. Add bourbon, dram, maple syrup water, Meyer lemon and grated clove/nutmeg. Shake over ice vigorously for 20 seconds. Fine strain up into a rocks glass. Garnish with clove and nutmeg dusting and float a fresh sage leaf on top. Let the healing begin.

Mentioned in this article


  • Snooth User: gardenguru
    739439 18

    Ha, I didn't even need to click the link to the 'full article' to know that Shari curry had written it. She is certainly quintessentially superlative and rich with enthusiasm for the transcribed arts! Very much harkening to the intangible depth that is a masala. ^_^

    Sorry for teasing. The recipes always seem tasty and St. E's Dram is something I've never heard of. Also, you can be sure that someone is reading!

    If I may suggest to other readers: save your ubiquitous Clementine peels, along with the zests of any lemons and oranges you may be using this season, macerate them with a heap of sugar, a small handful of cloves, and a 'handle' of your favorite cheap whiskey (I typically use Evan Williams.) This makes a great base for pitchers of holiday-spiced old-fashions, sours, or "Soothsayers" without having to use the expensive stuff on your relatives.

    Nov 01, 2011 at 7:22 PM

  • What a wonderful and much appreciated compliment! Thank you so much. I love the citrus peel infusion for the holidays. A little sweet, a tad spicy and lots of winter citrus flavor. Great idea. Best, Shar

    Nov 02, 2011 at 11:30 AM

  • Snooth User: gardenguru
    739439 18


    I AM still saying that editing for brevity would be an admirable goal, probably garner more readers, and give you room to add more insightful info.

    Like mentioning that chai means tea and comes from a Hindi/Urdu word.

    Nov 02, 2011 at 2:44 PM

  • Oh I see, you get pleasure out of mocking my wordiness :) Thanks for the tip. I get very nostalgic this time of year and apparently I express that with lots of adjectives! Let me know if you ever try making any of the recipes. If so take a photo and send it my way. I'm working on a recipe book and want to feature other's photos.
    Best, Shar

    Nov 02, 2011 at 3:12 PM

  • This is my absolute favorite new drink. I just purchased a bottle of St. Elizabeth's All Spice Dram because I like spice, and I like the word "dram"--so glad you gave me a use for it. A couple of questions: Do you chill it at all or drink it at room temp? Mine looks a little darker than yours--maybe just a difference in maple syrups? I was taking photos of my drink, but I'm not happy with them and I just want to drink this drink. I will post them later if you want to use them. I think fall is the perfect season for wordiness. Don't go changin'.

    Nov 02, 2011 at 5:10 PM

  • Thank you :) The All Spice Dram is fun right? Working with it right now on a pumpkin puree cocktail. And the instructions for the drink should be underneath, but currently they are not. Just got in touch with the editor and it should be fixed soon. In short you can serve it both ways, but I love it chilled and fine strained! Hope this helps.

    Nov 02, 2011 at 5:35 PM

  • Oh, and I didn't mean to give you a back-handed complement. I think you used just the right words to set the mood. I posted my pictures on my blog
    Can't wait to try the pumpkin puree cocktail.

    Nov 02, 2011 at 7:18 PM

  • Love your blog and the photo!

    Nov 03, 2011 at 12:08 PM

  • Snooth User: afoley
    824157 0

    I read your article and found the St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram at the Rum Runner in Tucson. It is very good! I have to try your cocktail yet, but last night we used it in warmed frothy milk with cinnamon sprinkled on top, right before bedtime. Yummy!

    Nov 03, 2011 at 4:57 PM

  • Snooth User: kwanrak
    969500 0

    Love it! Surprisingly amazing tiny piece of spice.

    Nov 09, 2011 at 2:47 AM

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