Chai Mar-tea-ni at Nama (Bearden)

An Ongoing Tour of Local Cocktails

Chai Mar-tea-ni

Nama, Bearden (5130 Kingston Pike, 588-9811)

Prepared by Jeremy Watson

Ingredients:

American Harvest Organic Vodka

Dancing Pines Chai Liqueur

Orange, Lemon, and Ginger Simple Syrup

Orange Zest

What makes it special?

This is the ideal local and seasonal cocktail owing to its orange hue and bright, optimistic disposition—it's so refreshing that you're almost certain that the sun will always shine. After the visual cue, the drink takes off into the wonders and spice routes of the near and far east. It's a complex tipple in that its flavor sensations are layered and strike the senses in waves. First there's the sweet aroma of oranges, followed by the initial sip, which offers spicy elements of chai—cinnamon, clove, star anise—and then is superseded by ginger and a final sweep of mouth-watering orange. The cocktail exudes aroma: As it rests on the table between sips, it continues to perfume the air with spice notes and a strange but comfortable reminiscence of Tang and its offspring, Russian Tea Mix. It's served chilled and straight-up, yet it's unusually warming and delightfully comfortable.