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Celebrate July With This Month’s Film-Inspired Cocktail: Pretty Problems

With summer in full swing, we’re thrilled to share this month’s featured cocktail by Hudon Valley’s very own Cocktail Architect: Nandini Austin. 

“One of our favorite signature cocktails is a drink we call the VODKA PASSIONFRUIT MARTINI. This drink is refreshing, light, and delicious. It was one of the three recent cocktails we served last month for the ‘Berkshire film festival.’ at the quaint hotel ‘The Red Lion Inn’ in Stockbridge.

pretty problems cocktailWe renamed the cocktail for this event to “Pretty Problems” after one of the featured films in the festival. We found this rather apt, as this cocktail is almost too ‘Pretty’ to drink with its bright yellow color from the fresh passionfruit pulp and the crushed pink peppercorn dust pops. The only ‘problem’ you may face is to resist having another and another!” – Cheers Nandini | The Cocktail Architect

Check out the recipe below – and there’s a non-alcoholic variation for a delicious summer mocktail! 

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  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 1 oz Passionfruit + Cardamom and Star Anise Enhancer
  • 3/4 oz Fresh Lime Juice
  • Garnish: Pink Peppercorn Dust
  • Glass: Martini or Coupe


  1. Add all ingredients except the peppercorn dust to a shaker tin with ice
  2. Shake, strain, and pour into a glass 
  3. Sprinkle with ground pink peppercorn dust
  4. Purchase cardamom & Star Anise syrup HERE or see the recipe below

For a non-alcoholic version, repeat as above, 

  1. Omit the alcohol
  2. Pour into a  highball glass over ice
  3. Top with sparkling water


  1. 1 cup of Water
  2. 1 cup of Sugar  
  3. Bring water to a boil and add sugar, constantly stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add a tablespoon of Star Anise spice and green cardamom pods
  5. Simmer for 30 mins 
  6. Cool and strain into a glass bottle
  7. Refrigerate ( it will stay fresh for a week) 




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