Don’t sweat too much about the mouth burn from ghost or Scotch bonnet peppers, because you can also find sensory kick in all kinds of ingredients, from humble horseradish and ginger to overlooked pantry staples like cinnamon. Consider peppercorns, which are beloved for their hints of heat but actually work really well in drinks when balanced with sweet fruit. Read on for ideas for how to mix your love for spice into old standard recipes to make some dynamite fall sippers.
Spicy pepper and sweet, earthy pumpkin blend rich fall flavours into classic summertime lemonade and whiskey.
TIP: Feeling extra spicy? Offer the option of garnishing with whole Thai chilies.
Try it with Maker’s Mark Kentucky Bourbon.
Sangria is the ultimate experimental cocktail. Get creative by whipping up a batch spiced with pepper’s robust, hot flavour, offset by the addition of luscious fall fruit.
TIP: A simple mix of sugar and crushed pink peppercorns transforms sangria into a sophisticated cocktail.
Try it with St-Rémy VSOP Brandy.
Taking inspiration from a savoury Martini twist, the Gibson, this timeless classic has a bit of bite (it’s “in-the-nose” spicy, like wasabi) with the addition of fresh horseradish.
TIP: Make a statement by garnishing with a red olive or a pickled purple pearl onion.
Try with Heretic Spirits Gin #1.
Incorporate sweet in-season beets into a homemade ginger beer for the ultimate zingy cocktail mixer.
TIP: Create drama by cutting your lime twist with precision and fastening it to the glass with a cocktail clothespin.
Try it with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.
With its woodsy aroma and sweet yet warming spicy bitterness, cinnamon adds a whole new dimension to a lesser-known amaro-infused old-guard cocktail, the Black Manhattan.
TIP: Go big with the garnishes by adding a fragrant sage leaf or Luxardo cocktail cherry to this drink.
Try it with Forty Creek Copper Pot Reserve Whisky.