Cocktail/Mocktail Hour with the Kennedy School Alumni Council + Cardamom Caucus Mocktail Recipe

Cocktail/Mocktail Hour with the Kennedy School Alumni Council + Cardamom Caucus Mocktail Recipe

Cocktail/Mocktail  Hour with the Kennedy School Alumni Council 

There are so many Harvard Kennedy School graduates kicking around in DC that it seems like most any cocktail party could claim ‘alumni gathering’ status. The Harvard Kennedy School DC Alumni Council takes it to a new level by intentionally thinking through interesting places and thought-provoking, timely topics to bring Kennedy School alumni together.

They asked us to tend bar for their latest event. What a fun way to spend an evening. The venue was great (WeWork Wonder Bread, you’re the best!). The house was packed with fascinating people. The discussion was lively. And we think the drinks turned out pretty well too.

The Menu

We designed 4 drinks to match the subject of the evening: innovation and democracy.


Transparency: vermouth, Skinos Mastiha

Full Participation: gin, vodka, brandy, cachaca, curacao, orgeat, orange juice


Cardamom Caucus: ginger beer, lemon cardamom syrup

On Lime Voting: orange juice, coconut water, lime, seltzer, honeydew jalapeno shrub

Since it was a Tuesday night, the organizer asked us to make sure there were some good non-alcoholic options available, and we were happy to oblige. We’ve been trying to up our mocktail game, and we’ve run across a couple of ideas we’ve been wanting to try out.

The challenge with mocktails is creating depth and complexity. A mocktail should taste distinctly different from juice or seltzer water. But how do you bring about that layering effect without using alcohol? Some of our fellow Union Kitchen members, Element Shrub and Wild Roots Apothecary, have been trying to solve exactly that puzzle, by creating unique shrubs (more about them in some other post) and botanical syrups.

When we tried Wild Roots’ Lemon Cardamom syrup, it blew our socks off with its complicated, pleasant and yet assertive flavor. It’s strong enough to hold its own in a cocktail, or to serve as the flavor base for a very satisfying mocktail, the Cardamom Caucus at the Kennedy School panel discussion, for instance.

Cardamom Caucus



  • .25 oz Wild Roots Lemon Cardamom Syrup
  • 3 oz Ginger Beer
  • lemon wedge
  • candied ginger (for garnish)


  • muddle syrup and lemon wedge in the bottom of an old fashioned glass
  • add ginger beer and stir to mix
  • add ice
  • garnish with ginger

Roberts & June