Black Pepper Pink Melon

Written by Mike Meyer Category: Drink Issue: January 2018

Warming spices like ginger, cinnamon and clove have their feel-good reputations for a reason: They really do cause your body to think it’s getting warmer.

photo by Carl Schultz
photo by Carl Schultz
At Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails, bartenders have figured out that warming spices can be emphasized in otherwise cold, refreshing cocktails – a productive contradiction here in the Valley of the Sun, where winter days are warm but nights get chilly. Take their Black Pepper Pink Melon, a drink that mixes black peppercorn-infused vodka with lime and elderflower liqueur, poured over frozen watermelon cubes to warm and tingly effect.

Cozy up to your own by rimming a large rocks glass with equal parts pepper, kosher salt and white sugar. Fill with cubes of frozen watermelon and set aside. In a shaker combine 1 1/2 oz. black peppercorn-infused Ketel One* with 1/2 oz. St-Germain, 3/4 oz. lime cordial** and ice. Shake until chilly and strain into the glass with the watermelon cubes. Finally, garnish with a sprig of rosemary for your own cool winter warmer.

*To make one liter of infused Ketel One, combine the vodka and 1/4 cup of ground black Tellicherry peppercorns in a sauce pan and lightly heat until the mixture reaches 160° F. Allow to cool and infuse for 24 hours before finely straining the mixture and re-bottling.

**To make three cups of lime cordial, combine 2 cups fresh lime juice, 1 cup agave nectar and the zest of 12 limes in a sauce pan. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Lower to a simmer until the mixture is reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool before finely straining. Keeps for up to 3 weeks in the fridge.

$14
Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails
2 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix
602-258-0231, bluehoundkitchen.com