Surprising for a metropolis that so sincerely radiates simmer, it’s only within the last few years that successfully spiced cocktails have worked their way into our public house menus. And although it’s easy to get caught up into a mixological mania, boldly blasting each subsequent home-crafted cocktail with enough piquancy to pierce a lingual papillae, it’s rarely, if ever, considered hospitable to chemically castrate your guest via overly peppered palliative when entertaining at home. Excellent at leveling-out overly savory or sweet flavors, there are a bevy of options available to properly pepper your aperitifs. For example, a portion of sliced jalapeño, when properly muddled, can add an excellent countertaste to a perhaps over-piney gin & tonic. And whole peppercorns, although perhaps not as popular as their ionized cousin, add a complex kick to comparatively lackluster liquors when infused with scotch, whiskey or vodka. A timelessly trending tip? Try chipotle-infused simple syrups, which, when gingerly poured atop a standard Whiskey Sour, transform that conventional American classic into a smoky, spicy sip simply impossible to put down.
Interested in adding a kick to your drink without all that irritating infusing? Lucky for you, there are plenty of taverns about town that serve a smattering of sizzling spirits. Beaker & Gray’s WW? is a torrid, tempting tipple awash in a series of subtle flavors, the most prevalent being a dash of Thai chile. For a satisfyingly spicy salted rim, look no further than Local Craft Food & Drink’s Don Remedio, a masterful take on the margarita. And for a truly piping mojito, Toro Toro’s Spicy Gingersnap at InterContinental Miami is a playful iteration worth a taste.