i'm a spicewalla: q soemardi of session cafe & bar
What's your name?
What's your personal IG handle and/or the IG handle of your business?
@qsoemardi @sessionavl @citizenvinyl
Tell us a little about yourself and what you do!
I’m a beverage industry professional who’s been working behind bars and in restaurants for most of my adult life. I love making simple beautiful drinks that have a clear idea and structure to them.
Which job title most accurately describes you?
Bartender / Home Chef / Spice Enthusiast
What spice(s) do you use the most in the kitchen?
At home I’m always using fresh cardamom, clove, ginger, and chilis in my cooking. Behind the bar I’m particularly drawn to big flavors that can drive the flavor profile of a drink, like chilis, peppers, and bitter roots and herbs.
Why do you think using fresh spices is important when it comes to creating delicious recipes?
The Impact! Nothing beats cracking a fresh spice in a mortar and pestle. The aromas and flavors are always much more complex and deep.
Describe the moment you fell in love with Spicewalla?
I was working behind the bar and we had just gotten our first order of Spicewalla spices and I needed a spice that would bring a clarified milk punch I was working on to the next level. Our chef had ordered black cardamom from Spicewalla and the aroma was unlike anything I’d worked with before. Musky, Smokey, rich, and fresh, it was perfect.
What is your favorite trick or tip when using spices?
Hand cracking a spice in something like a mortar and pestle and toasting your spices will always give you more impact and depth of flavor.
What is your desert island spice (if you could only choose one to use forever!)
What a question?! That’s tough, I think I’d have to choose clove.
What is a spice or blend you'd love to see from us in the future?
I’d love to see more bittering agents available. Roots and barks like gentian or cinchona, or bitter orange and lemon peels would be so helpful in drink making. It's always hard to source high quality versions of these spices and I like to use them a lot in my cocktails and amari.
Which Spice Girl are you?
For the Afternoon
created by Q Soemardi for Session Cafe & Bar
.5oz blanco tequila
1oz black pepper dry vermouth*
black pepper dry vermouth
20g Spicewalla Black Peppercorn, cracked
400g dry vermouth
Let sit for at least 6 hours or overnight.
Fine strain and keep refrigerated.
to assemble the cocktail:
1. Combine mezcal, tequila, Campari, and black pepper vermouth into a mixing glass and fill with ice.
2. Stir to combine all ingredients and strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice or a large cube.
3. Garnish with a dehydrated orange and a few turns of cracked Spicewalla Black Peppercorn.