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Buffalo Without Borders cocktails add to international cuisine fundraiser

Buffalo Without Borders cocktails add to international cuisine fundraiser

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Garam Ramos, Yemeni-inspired cocktail by Tony Rials of Waxlight Bar a Vin

Rice, tea and garam spices, staples in Yemeni cuisine, are central to Tony Rial's riff on the Ramos Gin Fizz. Part of the Buffalo Without Borders collection, recipes included with food tickets are still on sale.

Cocktail artists have added to the impact of the International Institute of Buffalo's annual Buffalo Without Borders culinary fundraiser by designing original cocktails to accompany the four nights of immigrant cuisine. We will highlight those cocktails here.

Tickets for the takeout cuisine fundraiser are available through Regular tickets for a to-go meal for two are $75. Each dinner comes with additional snacks and a cultural information and activity packet that includes a musical playlist, a craft and background about the culture.

. . .

Garam Ramos, by Tony Rials, Waxlight Bar a Vin

(Featured today with Bangladeshi cuisine.)

"Seeing how important rice, tea and spices are to their cuisine, we did our best to incorporate these and to play off the garam spices in the accompanying food," Rials said. "Bangladesh also seems to love milk-based drinks, even at night. Here's a riff on Ramos Gin Fizz with all those ingredients."

  • 2½ ounces (5 tablespoons) dry gin
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
  • ½ ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce garam syrup
  • 1 ounce heavy cream
  • ½ ounce egg white
  • Soda water
  • Green tea powder
  • Ice

Shake all ingredients (minus soda and green tea powder) for 10 seconds. Add ice and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into collins glass. Add soda water until drink is level with rim of glass.

Place glass in freezer for 90 seconds. Remove and slowly pour thin stream of soda water into center of cocktail until the fluffy head rises about ¾ inch above the rim. Lightly dust top with green tea powder.

Garam syrup:

  • ½ cup white rice
  • ½ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ cup ginger, diced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • ¼ cup green cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise

Quickly toast cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and anise in a hot skillet until fragrant. Add to pot with ginger and 2 cups water. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Pour all ingredients over rice and almonds and let sit until cool.

Separate solids from liquid. Place solids in a blender on low, slowly adding the liquid back in. Once it reaches a thick paste consistency, strain through cheesecloth.

Place in a pot on medium heat and whisk in 2 cups sugar. Once dissolved, let cool. Stores up to one month.

. . .

Limonada de Coco, by Megan Lee, Marble + Rye

(Featured May 10 with Colombian/Venezuelan cuisine.)

Limonada de coco, Colombian-inspired cocktail from Megan Lee, Marble + Rye

Limonada de Coco, a Colombian-inspired cocktail from Megan Lee.

(Serves 2)

  • 1 13½-ounce can of coconut milk
  • 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 4 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2½ cups ice, crushed if possible
  • Optional: 3 ounces rum (try Dictador from Colombia or Diplomatico from Venezuela)

Add all ingredients to a blender, scraping out can to use all coconut cream. Blend until the texture is smooth. Pour into glass of choice and garnish with a lime wheel.

Fun tricks:

  • Add a small pinch of salt to blender.
  • To deepen the flavor, warm coconut milk over medium heat and add 1 cup freshly toasted coconut flakes to infuse. Remove from heat, then strain when cooled.
  • Try a mint sprig for an aromatic garnish.

. . .

Warsaw Stinger, by Adam Rath, Hydraulic Hearth

(Featured May 17 with Polish cuisine.)

Warsaw Stinger, Polish-inspired cocktail from Adam Rath, Hydraulic Hearth

Bison-grass vodka is the backbone of Adam Rath's Warsaw Stinger.

  • 1½ ounces Zubrovka (or substitute standard vodka and a dash of vanilla extract)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) krupnik
  • 1 ounce apple juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Apple slices

Shake and strain into a coupe glass. Garnish with apple slices.

Polski Punch (non-alcoholic):

  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsweetened black tea
  • 1 ounce grenadine
  • ¾ ounce orange juice
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch smoked paprika

Shake and strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and a cherry.

. . .

Adeni Sour, by Joe Graziano, Grange Community Kitchen

(Featured May 24 with Yemeni cuisine.)

Adeni Sour, Yemeni-inspired cocktail from Joe Graziano, Grange Community Kitchen

The Adeni Sour is a cocktail inspired by Adeni Shai, a spiced milk tea common in Yemen.

Inspired by Adeni Shai, a spiced milk tea common in Yemen.

  • 2 ounces cognac or brandy
  • ¾ ounces fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ ounces spiced honey (see below)
  • ½ ounce (1 tablespoon) strong black tea

Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker or mason jar with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with mint, lemon peel and fresh grated nutmeg.


  • 2½ ounces strong black tea
  • ¾ ounce fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) spiced honey (see below)

Combine ingredients into a cocktail shaker or mason jar with ice. Shake and strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Garnish with mint, lemon peel and fresh grated nutmeg.

Spiced honey:

  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 green cardamom pods
  • 2 cloves

Bring all ingredients to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and leave covered for 15 minutes. Strain into a small bottle. Keep in refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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The Buffalo News: Food & Drink

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Related to this story

  • Updated

The International Institute of Buffalo hosted its annual Buffalo Without Borders, with this year representing its Centennial celebration, on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018. Local restaurants, vendors and musicians showcased the variety of culture that Buffalo has been blessed with through immigrants and refugee

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Food, art and dance of several cultures were on display at the International Institute’s annual Buffalo Without Borders, celebrating the influence of the large and still-growing refugee and immigrant communities in Buffalo, on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, in Statler City.

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