Spicy cocktails have been the hidden gems on menus at many bars, and are building momentum to take the spotlight this summer. See below for some refreshingly spicy sips being served up around the country.
Filini Bar & Restaurant – Chicago, IL
Filini Bar & Restaurant, the contemporary Italian eatery located in the acclaimed Aqua building, recently launched their summer cocktail menu, and on it is one of their spiciest creations, Assistive Cane. The cocktail is made with Ypioca Cachaça, Aperol, pineapple, lime, Hawaiian salt, and Thai pepper ($13). The flavor profile is tropical with a spicy finish, providing just enough kick to make this sip interesting without being overpowering.
- 1 1/2 oz. Ypioca Cachaça
- 1/2 oz. Aperol
- 1 oz. Spicy Pineapple Shrub
- 3/4 oz. Lime
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
- Pinch Hawaiian Salt
Preparation: Shake, fine strain, crushed ice, lime wheel/thai pepper.
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana – San Francisco, CA
Tony’s Pizza Napoletana spices things up with El Matador, made with Espolon Blanco Tequila, Serrano Infused Organic Beet Juice, fresh lime, ginger beer and mint. This seemingly sweet pretty pink cocktail packs a punch with housemade Serrano Infused Beet Juice.
- 1 1/2 oz. Espolon Blanco Tequila
- 1 1/2 oz. Serrano Pepper Infused Beet juice
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. Agave Nectar
- 2 oz. Ginger Beer
- Mint for Garnish
Preparation: Add all ingredients into a shaker, shake, pour into a Collins glass with ice top with ginger beer, mint for garnish.
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar – Los Angeles, CA
To complement its menu of reimagined comfort food, LA’s modern American eatery, Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (Sawtelle, Fairfax, Downtown), serves bold and colorful cocktails with a playful twist, such as Tropic Thunder ($12), made with Jalapeño-Infused Vodka, mango, lemon, and sugar.
- 2 oz. Jalapeño-Infused Vodka
- 3/4 oz. Mango Purée
- 3/4 oz. Lemon Juice
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
- Club Soda
Preparation: In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka with mango purée, lemon juice, and simple syrup. Shake, strain, and top with club soda.
Kachina Southwestern Grill – Colorado
Kachina Southwestern Grill in Westminster, CO (just outside of Denver) has a spicy take on a margarita called The Controlled Burn, made with Milagro Silver, fresh squeezed lime juice, pineapple juice, Green Chartreuse, simple syrup, and a house-made scorpion pepper tincture. The ‘burn’ is ‘controlled’ as the bartenders can add as many drops of the scorpion tincture as requested for the desired spiciness (average is about 4 drops).
- 1 1/2 oz. Milagro Silver
- 1/2 oz. Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice
- 1/2 oz. Pineapple Juice
- 1/4 oz. Green Chartreuse
- 3/4 oz. Simple Syrup
- 4 Drops of Scorpion Tincture
Garnish: Fresno Pepper
Preparation: Add all ingredients into a mixing tin, shake, strain over ice, garnish with a Fresno pepper.
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar – Minnesota
FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar located at Mall of America, offers the Diablo Martini that is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Made with Patron XO Incendio, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lemonade, and finished with a ghost pepper salt rim.
- 2 oz. Patron XO Incendio
- 3/4 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice
- 1 1/2 oz. Fresh Lemonade
Preparation: Mix all ingredients, add Ghost Pepper salt around the rim.
Urban Farmer (batch drink) – Ohio
Urban Farmer Cleveland, Ohio, serves a chili-infused cider cocktail called Everything Nice, with Balvenie Doublewood Scotch, Amaretto, and the chili-infused cider.
- 5 Bottles of Belvenie Double Wood Scotch
- 1 Gallon of Ohio Apple Cider
- 1 Bottle of Amaretto Disaronno
- 10 Habanero Peppers
- 40 Cinnamon Sticks
Preparation: Remove peppers after three days, let sit for another five days, then pour it off.
Clio Street Cooler
Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar – New Orleans, LA
At Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar in New Orleans, Bar Chef Benton Bourgeois serves the Clio Street Cooler. Crisp and light with a hint of spice, it combines Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, simple syrup, lime, and grapefruit with the kick of housemade jalapeño-lime bitters.
- 1 1/2 oz. Cathead Honeysuckle
- 1/2 oz. Simple Syrup
- 1/2 oz. Lime
- 1 oz. Grapefruit Juice
- 5 dashes Jalapeño-Lime Tincture*
Preparation: Add all ingredients to an iced cocktail shaker, shake and strain into a collins glass filled with ice.
*Tincture Ingredients and Instructions
Combine 6-8 Jalapeños (split in half, stems removed), the zest of 6 Limes, and 2 cups 151-proof rum to a mason jar and rest in a cool, dark place for 3-5 days. Strain and bottle.