The Slow Burn – Pepper for the People

Scene with a glass of dark rust coloured pepper cocktail on ice, surrounded by a little bowl of black peppercorns, and an enamal dish.

Need some energy to get over hump day? This pepper based mocktail will put a nice little fire in your belly. It’s not actually spicy, but has an invigorating depth and warmth. It’s simple to make, with stuff you probably have at home or can easily get near by. No grapefruit bitters? You could do a nice sized twist of grapefruit zest instead.

The Slow Burn Recipe:

  • 4 oz black pepper infusion
  • 6 oz tonic water
  • 6 dashes grapefruit bitters
  • Garnish with freshly ground black pepper or grapefruit twist

Recipe makes 2 mocktails. For each: pour 2 oz cold black pepper infusion over ice, add 3 oz tonic slowly, add 3 dashes grapefruit bitters, stir. Garnish with a grind of black pepper or grapefruit twist.

Black Pepper Infusion:

  • 2 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp whole black dried peppercorns

Slightly crush the peppercorns ( they’re hard little things, no need to go crazy; no one will die if you use mostly whole peppercorns plus a few twists of your pepper grinder on coarse). Put water and peppercorns in small pot, bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes – the infusion should reduce to by half (to 1 cup) Remove from heat, let cool. Strain through sieve lined with a few layers of cheesecloth. Refrigerate. Makes 8 oz of pepper infusion, enough for 4 drinks.

4 images showing each step of making The Slow Burn, a pepper based cocktail.