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Zivah Cocktail from 'Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East'

Learn how to make Bavel’s take on a 'vodka cocktail', courtesy of this recipe taken from the new cookbook by the popular Middle Eastern restaurant in Los Angeles.


Reprinted with permission from Bavel: Modern Recipes Inspired by the Middle East by Ori Menashe, Genevieve Gergis and Lesley Suter, copyright© 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Photographs copyright © 2021 by Nicole Franzen
Illustrations copyright © 2021 by Kathy Kim 

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07 June, 2021
Average: 4 (3 votes)

serves for



1 ounce medium-bodied vodka*
1 ounce aquavit**
Lime juice
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Celery Syrup
3⁄4 ounce Celery Syrup (recipe below)
Pinch of salt
Egg Whites
1 egg white
Edible flowers
Dried marigold flowers or chamomile blossoms for garnish (optional)
Celery Syrup
Celery juice
1 cup raw celery juice (may substitute store-bought cold-pressed celery juice)
Caster sugar
1 3⁄4 cups granulated sugar

I always try to make sure that my cocktail menu has a good balance. The Zivah was my choice for Bavel’s “vodka cocktail,” offering an approachable flavor profile using somewhat more challenging ingredients. I wanted to push beyond the usual expectations of a vodka drink, and I came up with a riff on a gimlet that substitutes vodka and aquavit for the normal botanicals found in gin.

House-made celery syrup shows a bitter complexity and enough sweetness to temper out the acidic lime juice, creating a beautiful balance of savory herbs next to the sweet and the sour. We shake the drink with an egg white, which results in a creamy and silky mouthfeel. Finally, we top off the drink with edible marigold flowers, so you get this floral note on the nose with the first sip.

Step 01

Shake everything in a cocktail shaker without ice until frothy. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and shake again very hard. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with dried marigold flowers.


*We use St. George vodka.

**We use Blinking Owl aquavit.

Step 02

To Make the Celery Syrup

Combine the celery juice and sugar and whisk to dissolve the sugar (this might take several minutes). Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.



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