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Indian spices like saffron and cardamom are now pantry staples for many cooks, but bartenders are also finding uses for the aromatic seasonings in deliciously complex cocktails. … Working in a space below Irani’s Indian street food-inspired Chai Pani, MG Road bartenders have access to the restaurant’s extensive stores of herbs and spices. “When I started poking around in there it was completely foreign to me,” says bartender Jonathan Ammons. He and fellow mixologists Kyle Gray Beach and Erin Hawley quickly began experimenting by making syrups with garam masala (a spice mix made with clove, cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and black pepper) and flower waters. A newer creation is the curry leaf tincture, which stars in a bright and tangy cocktail called Heart of Gold. It features finely strained kumquat puree, silver tequila, gingery Domaine de Canton and a bar-spoon of the citrusy tincture. Shaken and strained over a large ice cube, the cocktail is garnished with a curry leaf.