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.”
- 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
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.