For Happy Hour this week I've created another cocktail for you that'll help you get your spring on! I call it the Jalapeno-Pear Caipiroska. The Jalaheehowhatyousay? Is that Russian you ask? Well, yes and no. Read on my friends.
If you've ever had a Caipirinha then you're halfway there. If you haven't then you need to drop everything immediately (but first finish reading this column) and find your local churrascaria, or simply follow the hyperlinked recipe in the prior sentence, and have one really soon!
The Caipirinha is considered the national cocktail of Brazil--a simple and delicious warm weather potion comprised of muddled lime and sugar, ice, and Brazil's national spirit, cachaça. Somewhere down the line Brazilians came up with the Caipiroska by replacing the cachaca with vodka (hence the cutesy Russian sounding name), probably as a means of appealing to cachaca-averse tourists. And I must say that unlike most compromises, this is not a bad one, especially if you've run out of cachaca (like I did)--which is how I came to create the Jalapeno-Pear Caipiroska. Necessity is indeed the mother of invention.
2 oz. Absolut Pears vodka
1 oz. honey syrup
1 lime, quartered
2-3 jalapeno slices
Tools: cocktail shaker, strainer, muddler
Glass: rocks glass (aka old fashioned glass)
Muddle (mash together) the lime and jalapeno in the shaker. Add the remaining ingredients and shake well. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice and enjoy. You can add a jalapeno for garnish like I did if you wish. Also, depending on your fortitude, you can adjust the amount of jalapeno you use. Personally I like more than the amount given in the recipe, but I have a much higher heat tolerance than most others, so a couple of slices should be enough to give most people a good spicy kick without inducing regret.
I must tell you that the combination of heat, honey, pear, and lime, is just sublime. This is a very easy drink to prepare with only a few ingredients, and if you're already a fan of Caipirinhas, or if you enjoy a bit of spice in your cocktails, I highly recommend this one. You can also check out past spicy cocktail concoctions here. Three cheers for the Russian Brazilians!
Come back every Wednesday for Paystyle's weekly Happy Hour column.
Photography by Vanessa Bahmani.