Moving Swiftly

Herbaceous, tannic red bell pepper helps balance a sweeter whisky cocktail, like this one by Stephen Thomas of aRoqa in New York City. “This drink is like a boozy iced tea,” Thomas says. “It’s very complex with the scotch, elderflower, cherry, and lavender. Add the bell pepper for structure, and you have something really amazing.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 ¾ oz. Bruichladdich Unpeated single malt scotch, or blended Irish whiskey
  • ¾ oz. American Fruits Sour Cherry Cordial
  • ¾ oz. Giffard Wild Elderflower Liqueur
  • ¾ oz. lavender-infused agave syrup (recipe below)
  • 3 dashes bell pepper puree (recipe below)
  • Garnish: 1 lavender sprig

DIRECTIONS

In a shaker, combine all ingredients with ice and shake hard for 25 seconds. Double strain over fresh ice into a Collins glass. Garnish with lavender sprig.

To make lavender-infused agave:

Heat 1 ½ cups of raw agave and 1 ½ cups of water over medium heat until well combined. Remove from heat, add 2 teaspoons of dried lavender flowers, and stir. Let steep for 1 hour. Double strain into a glass container and keep refrigerated for up to five days.

To make bell pepper purée:

Puree 3 red bell peppers and ¾ cup of water in a blender on high for 2 minutes. Double strain into a small bitters bottle. Keep refrigerated for up to two days.

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