Rich History Meets Rich Flavor in this Spice Route Hub
Since the sixth century B.C., Oman – namely its central hub of Muscat – has been poised at the heart of maritime routes between India and Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. Its empire has been an important trading center of commerce and culture for thousands of years, with enduring traditions that still prominently color daily life. Muscat boasts architectural evidence of the many powers that sought to rule it over the centuries, with imposing Portuguese fortresses and Indian, Africa and European influences. By contrast, coastal Salalah is a verdant gem of fertile ground with a long heritage of prosperity.
Permeating each Omani locale is a culinary culture that is vibrantly flavored with the spices covered along these ancient routes. Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, turmeric, coriander and many others are staples here. When in Oman, “Thirsty Thursday” doesn’t usually mean reaching for a refreshing cocktail. Rather, tea is a central element of daily life in this region and, like most other Omani specialties, is best enjoyed with spice.
Crystal barkeepers are sharing their recipe for the perfect Muscat cinnamon tea, a hot, soothing choice for crisp spring days at home. Should you prefer yours with an extra kick, try the hot toddy recipe below and enjoy a taste of Crystal.
Muscat Cinnamon Tea
2 whole cinnamon sticks
1 cup of boiling water
1 oz. Seedlip Spice (non-alcoholic spirit)
Fill a teapot pot with the above ingredients and pour over boiling water. Let the flavors enhance and blend for a few minutes. Add one cinnamon stick and a large teaspoon of honey to your teacup and pour over the hot liquid.
Crystal’s Hot Toddy
2 oz. honey
1 lemon slice
1 orange slice
1 cinnamon stick
Your choice of spirit, brandy, scotch and bourbon work well
Add honey to a Cognac glass and pour over boiling water, stir to mix. Press the cloves into the citrus slices (5 each) add to the glass. Add the cinnamon stick and liquor of your choice. Stir vigorously to infuse the flavors.
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