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Guide to homemade cordials from Dubai mixologist

Words by Rob Chilton

Exploring the natural ingredients behind the bar

Bartender Dominik Schachtsiek makes complex cordials from scratch at the sumptuous Noir in Kempinski Hotel inside Mall of the Emirates in Dubai.

Cucumber Cordial
“This unique naturally forming syrup is made out of sugar and fresh Persian cucumbers. I lay thin slices of the cucumbers with added white cane sugar and macerate them overnight, before adding a little bit of lemon salt to counterbalance the sweetness. Perfect for adding an element of refreshment to a cocktail without giving too much sweetness.”
- As found in the Spa Margarita

Ginger Beer
“The core ingredient of ginger beer is of course ginger, which is grated and squeezed out. The secret is separating the starch which settles down from the ginger, before mixing it with cane sugar and lemon salt, adding the perfect ratio of water and then carbonating the mixture in our soda siphon.”
- As found in the Moscow Mule

Bartender Dominik Schachtsiek

Activated Charcoal Salt
“A big health trend at the moment, charcoal salt is basically a sponge which captures the radicals in your body. I use capsules of activated charcoal and mix it with flaky sea salt, resulting in a dark salt – just without the extreme carbon footprint. Not only does it add a different flavour to drinks, it also gives a mysterious, dark colour.”
- As found in the Spa Margarita

Roasted Pineapple Cordial
“This is one of the most intensive ingredients we make and takes around 20 hours to prepare – I call it the amber-coloured magical potion. It has exotic hints of pineapple and other fruits, caramel notes and a backdrop of baking spices that give an indulgent feeling to a cocktail.”
- As found in the Roasted Pineapple Swizzle

Noir at Kempinski Dubai

“Our falernum is a mix of toasted cloves, ginger, toasted almonds, toasted apricot seeds and lime zest. Due to the significant extraction of essential oils of the botanicals, we vacuum filter the falernum over several weeks to form sediments. With so many different flavours added to it, this makes an incredibly flavourful liquid that adds spice to a cocktail.”
- As found in the Roasted Pineapple Swizzle

Luxurious interiors

Dried Apricot Espuma
“The secret of this espuma is sous-vide soaking the dried apricots in house-steamed apple juice and adding aquafaba as liquid to it. It’s then pasteurised in a water bath with xanthan, and we add three nitrous oxide cartridges to create the unique consistency.”
- As found in the Smoky Orchardist

Aloe Vera Juice
“One of my favourite ingredients, it never dilutes a cocktail and gives a different texture than any other ingredient with its subtle and greenish taste. Did you know the aloe plant is the same family as the agave plant, from which tequila is made?”
- As found in the Spa Margarita

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