The sun came out this afternoon after a week of rain. Not only was there rain in Calgary, but also in Vancouver where I was staying. It seemed it was destined to follow me everywhere! Thankfully, this afternoon the sun came out for awhile and I decided I needed a BBQ.
Dinner consisted of kebabs. Chicken with Greek seasoning from Sill Road Spice Merchant and then onions and red peppers. I’ve been doing some reading about vegetable-based cocktails, it’s my “effort” at eating more vegetables.
I came home from Urban Distilleries in Kelowna with a bottle of Spirit Bear Vodka – peri peri chili pepper style. This is hand-crafted, triple distilled, ultra-premium vodka made in an Artesian copper still form locally grown wheat and filtered spring water. The pepper is still floating in the bottom of the bottle. No fake flavours here.
I’ve been wanting to use the vodka in something good, it’s got quite a bit of kick to it! I originally thought of making my own caeser and forgoing the tabasco in place of this. I haven’t gotten there yet, but instead I found a recipe for red pepper, basil and lime that you can add gin to. I modified it for my own consumption. I also don’t have any basil, but I did buy a sage plant! Recipes out there call for grilled red peppers and sage, so I figured I’d be safe.
I bring you the Red Peripepper
1/3 red pepper cut into large pieces
4-5 sage leaves
1 1/2 oz Spirit Bear Peri Peri Chili Pepper Vodka
1/2 lime, juiced
Add the pepper, sage and lime into a shaker and muddle it all up. By muddle, I mean crush it beyond recognition so it’s just a big mash of juicy goodness. I squeezed the lime juice in and then just threw the rest of the lime in there to make the difference and get all of the juice out.
Add ice and vodka and shake it like a polaroid picture… or like you’re the final contestant in the world bartending championships.
Strain into a chilled martini glass. No need to garnish, if you shook it hard enough there should be a couple of little sage leaves coming out with your mixture. You may have to move the shaker around a bit to get the mash out of the way. It took me a couple of minutes to get all of the liquid out and into my glass.
I also put a couple of slices of raw red pepper at the bottom of my glass before I poured the mixture in. It was a nice sweet crunch to end my cocktail with! Wait… I guess that counts as a garnish.
Tip: No muddler? No problem! Anything with a blunt end will do. I used the end of my spatula.
Want your own Spirit Bear Peri Peri Chili Pepper? Drive on out to Kelowna and visit Urban Distilleries. Or put in an order online! Though Spirit Bear vodka and gin are available in Calgary, the chili pepper and espresso vodkas are not yet available on the shelf in town.