Coral-pink and slightly opaque, this cocktail (developed by SAVEUR online editor Helen Rosner) looks demure, but it packs serious heat: bitter and sweet, earthy and deep, with a slow, lingering burn from the vodka and pepper. It's one of those drinks that makes you look at the glass in wonderment after your first sip.
For the Black Pepper Syrup (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1⁄4 cup crushed black peppercorns
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup sugar
For the Cocktail
- 1 1⁄2 oz. black pepper simple syrup
- 1 1⁄2 oz. Karlsson's Gold Vodka or other vodka
- 3 oz. fresh grapefruit juice
Make the black pepper syrup: Place sugar, water and peppercorns in a small pot and bring to a boil, stirring once or twice. Once sugar is dissolved take off the heat and let cool. Leave the peppercorns in the syrup to lend it a stronger flavor; strain them out when it is spiced to taste. Chill.
Make the cocktail: Combine the simple syrup, vodka, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously for about a minute; strain into an ice-filled glass.