Green Sloshed: Organic Cocktails for a Boozy Earth Day

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Green Sloshed: Organic Cocktails for a Boozy Earth Day Green Sloshed: Organic Cocktails for a Boozy Earth Day
Lifestyle

Green Sloshed: Organic Cocktails for a Boozy Earth Day

by Ken Walczak

April 20, 2012

Every week, GOOD’s cocktail expert recommends drinks in keeping with the times. This week, two 100-percent organic cocktails to help reshape your perception of Earth Day.

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).

As a spokesman for Earth Day’s rebranding initiative, I fully support the latter strategy. By clearing your calendar and spending a boozy evening (or afternoon) at home, you can save fossil fuels, reduce pollution, and generally promote the original spirit of Earth Day—while doing your part to introduce the world to Earth Day 2.0, the next great drinking holiday.

Send all of your favorite infusion recipes, or your suggestions for new drinking holidays, to mixologymailbag@gmail.com.

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

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