Behind the Bar: Apothecary (Cardamom Rose Cocktail)

by Grace Bonney

Pulling inspiration from “In the Kitchen With…” Alissa and I have created our very own column – “Behind the Bar.” For a little help with the first ever behind the bar, we visited a Philadelphia favorite – Apothecary. Apothecary is a Mecca for cocktail lovers who find comfort in knowing their drink is made with fresh & organic ingredients and combined to tasty perfection in combinations you never imagined. The ice is even specially made using a Japanese technique to remove impurities and unnecessary air pockets. This ensures your drink won’t taste like a Philadelphia water treatment plant or get watered down while you chat with the super-friendly bartenders. And much like an apothecary was carefully trained to blend healing formulas, these bartenders are the real deal – no summertime college students here.

Preston, the beverage manager at Apothecary, shared a light and refreshing summertime drink that you can easily make at home and is perfect for lazy, hot days sitting on the porch.


Cardamom Rose Cocktail:

1.5 oz of Hendrick’s gin (this is a rose & cucumber infused gin)
.75 oz of Rose syrup (make at home with rose water and simple syrup or buy locally)
.25 oz of Fresh lemon juice
.75 oz of Fresh grapefruit juice (ruby red preferably)
2 dashes of Peychauds bitters (Peychaud is credited with first creating the cocktail)
1 Cardamom Pod


1) Lightly muddle 1 cardamom pod at the bottom of shaker (not too much muddling or it will overpower the drink)
2) Add the rest of the ingredients
3) Add ice
4) Shake for 20 seconds
5) Strain over fresh ice to remove the cardamom pod
6) Add a splash of seltzer water
7) Garnish with rose petals or fresh lemon wedge (use organic if possible)


Suggested For You


  • LOVE the idea of a “Behind the Bar” series. Can this become a regular feature?!

    Nice to see a cocktail featuring bitters; I just picked up some Fee Bros. rhubarb bitters a couple of weeks ago that are begging for experimentation…

  • I’m with Carrie on this one, I love the idea of new drinks I can attempt at home! With the help of my bartending boyfriend, of course.

  • Very intriguing. My husband loves Rose flavored things…I may need to make this for his birthday.

    As an aside though, Philly’s tap water consistently exceeds all EPA standards for drinking water. We drink it straight from the tap and have no complaints!

  • Perfect for lazing on the porch this weekend.
    I also vote for a regular “Behind the Bar” column!

  • Oh, fantastic! Hendrick’s is my favourite gin but I never know what else to do with it bar adding tonic and a slice of cucumber (which is also excellent, by the way). This sounds really unusual, will definitely be giving it a try soon.

  • This looks fabulous! Can we get a link to the rose syrup recipe fixed please – I have rose water already…

  • I cannot BELIEVE how good this sounds! Cardamom is one of my all time favorite flavors, and I love rose too!

  • Love those bottle in the last pic. Where are they from? They’d look nice on the bar car that I plan to get after yesterdays post!

  • I would also enjoy this as a weekly feature! It would give us all great ideas for signature drinks at a future party. :)

    This cocktail looks so amazing. I can’t wait to try it out.

    • we’re on it :) kristina is working on a monthly bar column to supplement the kitchen recipes!


  • hey AmyA & elizabeth:

    the carafe and the bottles were from Apothecary. we will try to source something similar and bring them in to HORNE :)

  • Hendricks is hands down the most delicious & my favorite gin—can’t wait to try this! And oh my word, a monthly bar column sounds amazing. I am looking forward to the next one already. :D

  • love it! not only will the color of this drink match my home’s interior, it uses some of my most favorite ingredients.

  • Great lighting. Products really stand out. Love the bar – looks like something I’d want for my own house! Now I’m getting thirsty!

  • As usual, what a gorgeous pictures! Cant’ wait for a nice occasion to make this drink for my girlfriends. Bye bye cosmopolitain, hello rose cocktail.

  • I’m lovin’ handcrafter beverages right now too, well always have. There unending inspirations out there. And sadly enough there’s also far too many bad drinks out there for far too much money. I recently started a bi weekly segment on my blog too on hand crafted drinks- alcoholic and non. Love the pics of that place though. Wow!

  • I finally made this drink last night; it was extremely pleasant and more subtle than I expected. It was a lovely and delicate balance of flavors, though next time I may increase the Hendricks to 2 oz.; I prefer drinks that emphasize the alcohol rather than submerge it.

  • After we went through the small Hendrick’s so quickly, we went to Costco for the giant economy size Soooo refreshing and a true melody of flavors on the tongue. I omitted the rose though…it seemed to overpower.

  • This is lovely, but to confess, I feel I have to participate in a scavenger hunt, of sorts, to find these particular brands.

  • I made this on Sunday with a slight tweak, and I have to recommend it. I made a simple syrup flavored with rose water, cardamon powder, and saffron. It was HEAVEN with the saffron added in. Admittedly, the drink was more yellow than the pink in the photos. But it was hands down the best drink I’ve ever made.

  • In process of making the drink, made the rose syrup tonight (followed a recipe that said demarra sugar so my syrup is brown even though the picture was of a clear syrup but anyway learnt for next time) and going to get the grapefruit juice tomorrow (ruby preferably as listed) won’t this totally alter the colour of the drink from a pale pink??

  • Saw this recipe and just HAD to borrow it! But with all the new gins out there, I felt there was a great opportunity to really make it our own. So…

    (13-oz Poco-grande glass + Ice)
    Build in a shaker–no ice!
    ~ 2-slices Lemon, muddled
    ~ Dash x1 Cardamom bitters
    ~ Dash x2 Peychaud’s bitters
    ~ 0.25-oz Rosewater
    ~ 0.50-oz Combier Pamplemouse Rose (grapefruit cordial)
    ~ 0.50-oz Sours mix
    ~ 1.50-oz Opihr gin (botanically spicy)
    ~ 0.50-oz Hendricks gin (botanically floral)
    DRY SHAKE. Pour over ice.
    ~ Top w/ Ginger ale (-or- Ginger-beer + Club soda)

  • By “we” I mean the bar where I work. Fuji & Jade Garden is a 200+ seat Chinese-Japanese joint in State College, PA. We’re a cocktail destination with a great selection of microbrews and nihon-shu (sake)… as well as a modest wine list.

  • Cardamom Rose Cocktai, It looks so easy to do with a little of Hendrick’s gin and Rose syrup…Will be saving it in my to do list. Thanks for sharing this recipe.