Summer Spice, an Original Cocktail

It took awhile for me to warm up to mixology, more specifically, the mixologist. It seemed like a glorified title for a bartender and I hate titles. That’s why when somebody asks me what I do, I reply that I cook professionally. I intentionally left my title off my kitchen whites. I feel titles are for people who need reminding what their responsibilities are, these are the same people who are fond of name-dropping, you know who they are.

As I began to pay more attention, I realized mixologists were much like chefs in that they were trying to create new combinations of familiar products, much as I do in the kitchen. As much as I would hate to spend my entire career cooking the same dishes over and over, I can see and understand where a bartender might tire of lemon drop and apple martinis. While the technical demands of each job are different, the concept is the same to both chef and mixologist.

I’ve always had an affinity for the green heat of jalapeno peppers and I find it natural counterpoint to sweeter concoctions. I’m still surprised by the success of my jalapeno crème brule. Therefore, I had to use it in a cocktail if I was going to try and create one. Apricots are beautiful this time of year and peaches are days away here in Colorado, I think this would work just as well, if not better, with peaches.

1 ½ oz. Spring 44 Honey Vodka
2 Tbs fresh apricot puree
2 tbs jalapeno simple syrup
1 tsp agave nectar
A squeeze of fresh lemon

For the apricot puree:
Combine ½ cup water, ¼ cup sugar and a dozen apricots, puree till smooth and strain through fine mesh.

For the jalapeno simple syrup:
Combine 2 cups water, 2 cups sugar and 4 large jalapenos that have been sliced thin, including the seeds. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool, strain through fine mesh.

Combine all ingredients over ice and shake like crazy, pour into rocks glass and garnish with a fresh slice of jalapeno.

Thanks to Dann, Chris and Allie who helped taste and finalize the recipe.

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