This richly-hued beer-based cocktail, built on Sam Adams's yeasty, fruity, fizzy Infinium brew, has a slow burn thanks to a rich black pepper syrup. It was developed by Jill Shulster of New York's JoeDoe, who tells us that her goal in crafting this drink was to allow the beer's rich flavor to show through, while balancing its high-alcohol intensity with sweet and spicy flavors. Note that the black pepper syrup requires at least a full day to steep; this is a drink that calls for planning ahead. If you don't have Infinium on hand, substitute a full-bodied wheat beer.
For the Black Pepper Syrup
- 4 tbsp. fresh-ground black pepper, separated
- 1 cup sugar
For the Cocktail
- 6 oz. Sam Adams Infinium beer
- 1⁄2 oz. apple cider
- 1⁄4 oz. fresh lemon juice
- Thin strip of lemon zest, for garnish
Make the black pepper syrup: Bring 2 tbsp. black pepper, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out solids using cheesecloth and discard. Add remaining 2 tbsp. black pepper to the infused syrup and allow to steep, covered, overnight and up to 24 hours. Strain again and discard solids. The finished syrup should be a rich black in color, with only a few tiny particles of pepper. Syrup will keep, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Fill a glass halfway with beer. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, thoroughly shake 1 oz. black pepper syrup, cider, and lemon juice. Strain mixture into the beer. Run the lemon zest around the rim of the glass to release the oils.