Vanilla … … baby

Sorry! But the song has been in my head ever since I left The Navan Orchid Studio earlier this evening. Vanilla is — by far — my favorite scent and flavor, so you can imagine how excited I was to be invited to The Navan Orchid Studio where I was introduced to the many ways the vanilla orchid can be used, in everything from food to flowers — and of course, cocktails! The spotlight was definitely on Grand Marnier’s Navan, a liqueur blended with cognac and natural vanilla. Here’s the back story: The rare vanilla orchid blooms for only one day in Madagascar and it has to be hand-pollinated to produce a single vanilla bean. From that bean we get the smooth, sophisticated spice we all know as vanilla. In honor of this intense harvest season, Navan called upon NYC mixologist Aisha Sharpe to mix up some innovative sips:

The NAVAN Orchid Martini
1/2 oz. Navan
1 oz. Belvedere vodka
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
Moet & Chandon Imperial
Garnish: white orchid

In a mixing glass combine all ingredients except the champagne, add ice, shake and strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with champagne.

Madagascar Sour
1/2 oz. tamarind syrup
1/2 oz. Navan
1 1/2 oz. bourbon
1 oz. club soda
Garnish: 3 brandied cherries on a pick

In a mixing glass add all ingredients except the soda, add ice, shake and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass, add soda and garnish.

*Want more? try splashing some Navan over a bowl of Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream for an indulgent sensory overload.


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