Your Saturday Sip – The El Niño

Now that we actually have our own prepared cocktail line out on the market, we’re working on some fabulous recipes and pairing ideas with OM to post about.  Until then, we’ll still be bringing you great organic cocktails we come across that are worth sharing.  Try the El Niño this weekend and let us know what you think!  Cheers!


el nino

El Niño

1 ½ oz. pepper-infused vodka*
1 ½ oz. tangerine juice [I squeezed organic Minneolas] 1 oz.Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal [i.e., mescal with agave syrup added] ½ oz. agave syrup

Shake with cracked ice. Double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a vodka-soaked pepper or a dried Fuyu persimmon.

* To make the pepper-infused vodka: Remove the cores and seeds from a habanero, a jalapeño, two serranos, and an Anaheim pepper—preferably while wearing gloves. (Ripe peppers may be best overall, but firmer, crisper ones produce a “green” taste that is not entirely unwelcome in the cocktail, in addition to the heat.) Chop the peppers roughly. Clean and dry a mason jar thoroughly, place the chopped peppers in the bottom of the jar, and fill with an organic vodka (I used Kanon). Screw the lid on to the jar. Let the vodka infuse for 8 to 48 hours—longer infusion will result in more intense, spicier flavor. When the flavor is to your liking, strain the infused vodka. The vodka-soaked peppers can be retained as a garnish.

The key to El Niño is balance. Agave syrup is wickedly sweet, and the mescal in Del Maguey’s crema is brilliantly smoky; those two flavors should balance each other and play off the pointy zing of the citrus before the infusion’s heat kicks in. Like any spicy cocktail worth its salt, EL Niño’s final Scovillian note can prime your palate for an adventurous meal. It can also inspire you to order another round—either to cool the fire on your taste buds or stoke it anew. (Pro tip: the infused vodka also makes a killer Bloody Mary).

Photo via (cc) Flickr user bachmont. Cocktail photo by Adrienne Moon.

Adapted from original post on

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