(makes one giant dessert drink)
Ready to be indulgent? When my daughter and I were traveling in Sri Lanka, she decided that Sri Lanka was the land of ice cream, because we ended up eating it most places (especially when the dishes were too spicy for her). I wouldn’t serve her this drink, but for an adult libation poolside, this lush concoction will delight. (The pistachio margarita is still tasty, even if you skip the float entirely.)
3 oz. tequila, chilled
1.5 oz. pistachio orgeat (syrup)
1 oz. fresh lime juice
dash of Strongwater’s Virtue bitters (rose, alpine, and sage) (optional)
2 oz. lemon-lime soda
lime and sugar for rim
pistachio ice cream (or to kick it up a notch, use bastani: Persian pistachio-rose-saffron ice cream, see below)
chopped pistachios and/or rose petals for garnish
1. Rub fresh lime along rim of cocktail or margarita glass, and dip in sugar.
2. Combine tequila, pistachio orgeat, fresh lime juice, dash of bitters, and lemon-lime soda.
3. Top with scoops of pistachio or bastani ice cream, garnish with chopped pistachio. I recommend serving with a spoon and/or straw.
Bastani: Persian Pistachio-Rose-Saffron Ice Cream
8 egg yolks
2 c. sugar
2 c. whole milk
1 c. chopped roasted pistachio nuts (salted is fine)
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 t. rose extract (or 2 T rose water)
1/2 t. cardamom extract (optional)
generous pinch saffron threads
2 1/2 c. heavy cream
1. Beat egg yolks with sugar until smooth and foamy.
2. In a medium thick-bottomed pot on medium-low, heat the milk to boiling while stirring. Add vanilla extract, rose extract, cardamom extract, saffron threads, and salt.
3. Slowly and carefully, pour the foamy egg/sugar mixture into the fragrant milk, using a whisk vigorously while pouring (to avoid scrambling the eggs).
4. Turn heat to low and continue heating, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until custard thickens. (It should thinly coat the spoon).
5. Pour custard mixture into a bowl, and refrigerate until well chilled (at least 4 hours, and overnight is not unreasonable.)
6. Churn in an ice cream maker (be sure bowl has frozen for at least 4 hours, overnight is likely better), or hand-churn (stick in freezer and stir every 30 minutes to break up the ice crystals, until it is well-mixed).
7. When ice cream is at soft-serve consistency, stir in chopped pistachios, then freeze until hard (about 2-4 hours).