The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Aida Ashor, Pepperish Journey

The Drink

Pepperish Journey is a twist on an Old Fashioned dedicated to the joie de vivre of Aida’s fellow countrymen. Inspired by their energy and passionate approach to life, she uses a liqueur she prepares from tuica (a Romanian plum/cherry schnapps) and the flavours of traditional secarica (a caraway-flavoured sweet brandy) cooked up with pepper and cloves. She describes the drink as a river of flavours: ‘first you are hit by the orange oils, then the silky smooth texture and spiced, chocolate flavour of the Zacapa, and finally the surprise of the caraway and pepper aftertaste.’ It is ideal after dinner or perfectly paired with pudding or cake.

The Technique

Zacapa 23 • 30ml
Homemade liqueur • 30ml
Angostura bitters • 15ml
Maraschino liqueur • 30ml
Orange zest
Contains 13 grams of alcohol per serve

To make the Homemade liqueur: boil the tuica in a pan with cloves and black peppercorns for 10 minutes. Caramelise sugar in a second pan and add caraway seeds and stir for 5 minutes. Add the tuica mixture and boil together for a further 5 minutes while stirring. Allow to cool, then strain and bottle.

Add all the ingredients to a chilled mixing glass, stir and strain into an Old Fashioned glass with ice. Garnish with orange zest and a cherry in a spoon sitting atop the glass.

To try the cocktail made by the woman herself visit Flair Angel, Bucharest, Romania

Images by Ovidiu Muresanu