Ha, I’m betting my headline misled that I’m posting vampire-related drinks, what with the Twilight Eclipse movie releasing this week. Given that I lean Team Jacob, any cocktail would have to have garlic in it – which sounds just gross — and a Bloody Mary seemed too obvious. So instead the bite is about spicy…
As my liquid weekend in Portland confirmed, I love the drinks with heat. Not torched-mouth heat, just the kind with a nice burn in the back of the throat. Apart from muddling a jalapeno or adding a little Serrano pepper juice, I haven’t worked much with peppers at home. After pulling this recipe out of my stash so many times, I decided to attempt both the pepper-infused syrup AND turning a single cocktail into a pitcher drink. Ooh, this could have been dangerous.**Ginger-Habañero Syrup:
1 cup sugar 1 cup water 1 seeded habañero 2 oz sliced fresh ginger
Heat to just before boiling and sugar is dissolved, and then remove from heat. After 5 minutes off heat, scoop out peppers. Allow remaining mixture to cool and strain out ginger. Keeps in refrigerator for 3 weeks in a sealed container. Makes 10 ounces.
Since I didn’t find habañeros at the store, I substituted two Serrano peppers per instructions on various Web sites about peppers and cooking substitutes. I also used 3 tablespoons of jarred sliced ginger because I have no idea how to cook with fresh ginger. These were fine substitutions because the end syrup was delish. It was also wonderfully easy to make.
Next came the challenge of scaling the cocktail recipe to pitcher proportions. The original recipe is The Chadwick and was created by bartender Adam Seger at Nacional 27 in Chicago. Since I had only 10 oz of syrup and the original recipe called for 1 oz, I knew I had to multiply the other ingredients by 10 as well. This was easily done with this particular recipe, although I chose to add a little extra of this and that in the end. I also opted to use 3 ounces of lime juice rather than muddle 20 lime quarters.
Here is my pitcher version of The Chadwick:30 large mint leaves 5 oz dark rum 7 oz light rum 12 oz pomegranate juice 3 oz lime juice 10 oz spiced syrup 33 oz club soda
Muddle mint leaves with lime juice, add in all ingredients except club soda to chill in refrigerator. Add club soda before serving.
In hindsight, I could have added all dark rum, as the original listed, and more of it. Considering how quickly the pitcher was drained, no one at the BBQ seemed to mind, though. I was left wishing I had doubled the syrup recipe so that I could have made a larger pitcher AND been able to try this non-alcohol Nojito from the same creator:
Moisten the outer rim of a collins glass with 1 ounce of the pomegranate juice and coat lightly with sugar. Fill the glass with ice. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the lime quarters with the mint leaves and Ginger-Habanero Syrup. Add ice and the remaining 1 ounce of pomegranate juice and shake well. Strain into the prepared collins glass and stir in the club soda.
These drinks are sure to add heat and praise to your 4th of July function!