Citronelle is the French word for lemongrass, one of the main components of the woodsy and bright Noga blend. For this drink I prepare a syrup to extract the flavors, leaving the solids behind. This cocktail can be made with either ginger beer for a bit more sweetness and bite, or seltzer for a drier and more floral drink, either way it complements the grassy rhum agricole nicely. The garnish is a lime wheel dipped in Aleppo pepper. Like it hot? Drop it in!
To prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan bring one cup of water to a boil and then drop to a simmer, add the sugar, Noga, and ginger (if using) and stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain through a coffee filter and store in a clean bottle. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For the cocktail: In a collins glass combine the lime juice, syrup, and rhum and stir well. Fill with ice cubes, then ginger beer or seltzer, and add a couple dashes of angostura. Stir gently with a straw and garnish with a lime wheel dipped in Aleppo pepper.
Variations & Ideas:
Dark Jamaican rum, lime, noga syrup, ginger beer, pineapple wedge dipped in Shabazi N38, prepare as above
Young coconut water, Haitian clairin, noga syrup, lime juice, shake with ice and serve in a rocks glass over ice with a lime twist
Juice oranges, limes, and collard greens, fine strain. mix the juice with ice, cachaça, noga syrup and seltzer in a collins glass, stir gently until cold and garnish with a cilantro sprig and a lime wheel
Other ways to use the noga syrup:
Toss vegetables with noga syrup, sea salt, chilies, and olive oil and roast, serve with a squeeze of fresh citrus
Use instead of the traditional rose/orange flower syrup when making baklava
Try the syrup on pancakes, add some pomegranate arils to the batter for balancing bitterness and a nice crunch