Based on an original cocktail I made for a charitable pop up themed after the movie, "The Craft". It was essentially an Appleton 12 year rum old fashioned, heavy in the bitters with a cider reduction and a brûléed dried apple. This version is migraine-friendly. I love making this at work. It smells so cozy and always grabs people's attention. If I'm making this for entertaining, I'll often make the syrup right before people arrive so the aroma is still in the air as the cocktail is being sipped.
Orgeat, typically made of from almonds or other nuts, serves as a sweetener and thickener for most cocktails. I was really worried about this mocktail becoming too thin without a spirit, but the sunflower orgeat adds an almost sily texture to this cocktail.- KT
For the apple cider reduction - Put all ingredients in saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce until 10 oz. of liquid remains. Turn off heat, stir in 4 oz. of sugar until dissolved and let cool. Strain out spices.
Meanwhile, lightly toast the seeds in a small saucepan, shaking it occasionally. When you start to notice the aroma, they are probably good. Add the water and turn up the heat until it's at a gentle rolling boil. Stir in the sugar until it's dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool.
Transfer this sunflower seed mixture into a blender. Pulse/blend until the seeds are mostly broken up. Strain the orgeat using a wire mesh colander or maybe several layers of cheese cloth. The resulting liquid is technically a suspension so it will separate if left to sit for a while. This is totally okay. Just give it a quick shake before you use it. You just want to get all of the pulp out so the texture is silky and not grainy.
Brew the tea at double strength to account for any spirit that might be added. This means using twice the amount of recommended tea and steeping for the normal recommended time. Allow everything to cool to at least room temperature.
Measure ingredients into a rocks glass, stir for a few seconds, garnish with a thinly sliced wedge of apple and a little freshly cracked black pepper.