Friday night and time to kick back with a cocktail! It was a long drive home tonight and I caught myself daydreaming and realized that I had some smoky, spicy simple syrup in the fridge inspired by our friends Scott and Victoria and their new book, A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails and I knew what was in store – a smoky spicy Amaretto sour.
The spicy simple syrup in A Field Guide to Canadian Cocktails was a great idea! I made it to try one of their cocktails and have found myself drinking it with all sorts of other cocktails and want to experiment even further with it. We used dry morita peppers (they are smoke dried red jalapenos) but you could replace them with dried chipotles or even 1 or 2 preserved in adobo sauce if that’s all you had access to. If that’s too hard to find, just use any hot pepper you can (fresh or dried).
The one lesson that I took away from Scott and Victoria was to cook the simple syrup long enough to thicken. It seems so obvious but I used to heat the sugar long enough to melt it which worked to sweeten the drink but made my cocktails very thin. By cooking it longer you change the texture and the drink is smoother, silkier and just more lovely.
Their book is a lovely tribute to cocktails and Canada. They have an amazing network of people and inspiration as they present a coast-to-coast tour of both topics. Their site is a great way to get a feel for what they do and you’ll find plenty of recipes there too!
I love sours – and I have a special soft spot for Amaretto sours. The smokiness of this drink is a really fun counterpoint to the other sweet and sour ingredients and really made for an interesting drink. This was a twist on their Bonita Applebaum (it uses bourbon, sage, fresh apple juice and limes) that I thought was pretty awesome as well (we made a 1/2 gallon jug of it for a group of friends at a recent dinner party!)
- Chilli Syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 2-3 smoke dried peppers (such as morita or chipotle per above)
- 1.5 ounces amaretto
- 1 ounce chilli syrup
- 1 ounce lemon juice
- Thin slice of lemon and slices of hot peppers to garnish
- Start by making the simple syrup (it will last for 2 weeks or more in the fridge):
- Combine sugar, water and hot peppers in a sauce pan and simmer until it thickens (about 10 minutes). Chill in fridge, leaving peppers in to infuse.
- To make the cocktail:
- Combine amaretto, chilli syrup and lemon juice in a shaker (a mason jar will do if you don't have one). Shake to combine.
- Pour into an ice-filled glass and garnish. Serve once chilled (a minute or two later)