A “hot” trend in mixed drinks has found it’s way to the Portland metro area. Restaurants are serving wonderful cold drinks using less sugar and adding peppers for a savory drink. The best news though is that we can replicate the cocktails at home. I like that a lot.
I had a martini earlier in the summer at a Peruvian restaurant called Andina in the trendy Pearl District, Portland. It was made with vodka seasoned with habanero peppers, passion fruit served with a sugared rim (plus a bit of chili pepper I think). They have named the drink Sacsayhuaman (pronounced: sexy woman). Absolut has vodka called Peppar and that may have been the alcohol Adina’s used. The taste is out of this world. I thought I had died and gone Hollywood.
Today I see that Food TV has posted a recipe for making your own peppered vodka. They suggested adding 2 tablespoons of cracked peppercorns to a bottle of vodka and letting it steep for a week. Strain the vodka through a fine strainer and store in a sterile bottle. I love a good martini so I will be trying this.
Emeril Legasse suggests 12 ounces pepper vodka, 1 1/2 oz. vermouth and jalapenos for garnish. When shaken with ice this will serve 4 people. I suppose a little passion fruit juice could be added to give the drink a little fruit layer of flavor.
We are now seeing a “hot” new cocktail mix put out by Vibe, a small business located in Vancouver Washington. We can buy it now at our local outdoor markets and is distributed online. The Spicy Margarita Natural Agave Cocktail Mix makes the best summer drink I have tasted in a long time. It is the perfect balance of spicy and sweet with a little bite on the back of your tongue. If you are turned off by a sweet, icky margarita like I am, I think you might like this flavor twist.
Epicurious has a recipe that might come close. It contains 1 chili pepper of your choice split and rubbed on the edge of your glass. A small sliver is reserved for the drink. They suggest you use 2 parts tequila to 1 part Cointreau or Grand Marnier along with .5 part lime juice (passion fruit juice could be substituted). This formula works out to 1/2 cup tequila, 1/4 cup Grand Marnier plus 2 TBS. lime (passion fruit) juice. The bottle of Vibe mix comes at a price of $8.99 for a 32-ounce bottle so if I can mix my own drink, I will. If I can’t mix my own, I will be buying a case of the mix…it is that good.
There are other types of spiced drinks made with rum. This is a welcome departure from sweet flavored rums to a flavor featuring the spice of peppers. Real rum drinkers like this better according to people that are suppose to know that sort of thing. A website called Spice Ice and More has information on this subject and a few recipes you can try. (see source material)
I love it when the old favorites are served up with a twist and I think the trend toward a less fruity drink to a spicy savory flavor is one trend that may be around for a while in my house.