Citronelle Cocktail

Citronelle is the French word for lemongrass, one of the main components of the woodsy and bright Noga blend. For this drink I prepare a syrup to extract the flavors, leaving the solids behind. This cocktail can be made with either ginger beer for a bit more sweetness and bite, or seltzer for a drier and more floral drink, either way it complements the grassy rhum agricole nicely. The garnish is a lime wheel dipped in Aleppo pepper. Like it hot? Drop it in!

Noga N17 – Recipe by Christian Leue


Syrup yields 1 1/4 cups
1 cup good water
1 cup raw sugar
2 Tbsp Noga N17
optional (4 slices of fresh ginger)

Cocktail makes 1 drink
1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
1/2 ounce noga syrup
1 1/2 ounces unaged rhum agricole
angostura bitters
3-4 ounces of ginger beer or seltzer
lime wheel and aleppo pepper for garnish

serve in a collins glass with a straw


To prepare the syrup: In a small saucepan bring one cup of water to a boil and drop to a simmer, add the sugar, noga and stir well. Simmer for 15 minutes, then strain through a coffee filter and store in a clean bottle. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

For the cocktail: 

In a collins glass combine the lime juice, syrup, and rhum and stir well. Fill with ice cubes, then ginger beer or seltzer, and add a couple dashes of angostura. Stir gently with a straw and garnish with a lime wheel dipped in Aleppo pepper.

Other cocktail ideas:

• dark Jamaican rum, lime, noga syrup, ginger beer, pineapple wedge dipped in Shabazi N38, prepare as above

• young coconut water, Haitian clairin, noga syrup, lime juice, shake with ice and serve in a rocks glass over ice with a lime twist

• kirsch, gin, lemon, benedictine, noga syrup, shake and strain over ice in a collins glass, top with club soda

• juice oranges, limes, and collard greens, fine strain. mix the juice with ice, cachaça, noga syrup and seltzer in a collins glass, stir gently until cold and garnish with a cilantro sprig and a lime wheel

Fun to Try

• Toss vegetables with noga syrup, sea salt, chilies, and olive oil and roast, serve with a squeeze of fresh citrus

• Use instead of the traditional rose/orange flower syrup when making baklava

• Try the syrup on pancakes, add some pomegranate arils to the batter for balancing bitterness and a nice crunch


Past April Recipes

2018 – Spring Panzanella

2017 – Braised Lamb Shanks


Food images and recipe © Christian Leue

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