A Decent Proposal
Today, we play with fire, aka red pepper. “Red pepper? In a drink?” you say… you question whether the ol’ Sip Advisor has finally lost all his mental faculties. Have the weeks of drinking and running this blog already taken a toll on this brainially fragile person? Eff that, I’m more awesome than ever! This blog is about pushing the boundaries of drinkdom and so I must share with you the joys of cocktails made with ingredients you normally wouldn’t see in a shaker. Plus, I’ll throw in a little tale about how the red pepper recipe first entered my consciousness:
Mrs. Sip and I were in Las Vegas to celebrate our 10-year dating anniversary – a decade of destruction, if you will. My liver sure thinks so. It was an amazing trip, where everything just seemed to go right for us. Most of our vacations work out this way, so we weren’t really surprised.
We were sitting at the gorgeous Hyde Lounge inside the Bellagio Hotel. Unfortunately, it was a violently windy day and the fountains were shut off, depriving visitor’s to the city of its dancing water splendor. Well, when life gives you lemonade, you push it aside and ask for a martini.
So, there we sat, at the bar with cocktails in hand, reminiscing about another amazing weekend together. The place was pretty empty, so we had a good chance to talk to the bartenders and a nice couple beside us. When they had to run off to a show, they left us with the platter they ordered which included caviar, smoked salmon, and pate. It was one of those trips where everything was clicking!
We paid our tab and were finishing the final sips of our beverages, when we were interrupted by the booming voice of a man behind us.
“Can I get you guys some drinks?” the large African-American stranger asked.
I panicked a little, foreseeing this turning into one of those ‘Indecent Proposal’ type things. He liquors us up then offers me a substantial amount of money for one night with my fiancée. And I could really use that money!
Let’s make one thing clear: Mrs. Sip is hot. She’s what the Spanish would call muy caliente! I’m just lucky we met at the age of 18 and I locked that sweet honeybutt down pronto (well, eight years later, but who’s counting).
So back to our drink offer. We were hesitant. After all, we had only come for one last drink before we were to head to the airport. We told our new “friend” that and he argued that we weren’t “driving” the plane (sound logic), so we could stay for one more round.
Then it popped into my head that maybe this guy would want to take ME off Mrs. Sip’s hands. I’m sure she wouldn’t hesitate to take the deal, and get a few hours off to read her books in quiet serenity without this Sip Advisor constantly prodding her to edit his blog or get naked. I wonder what rate I would go for? A bag of jellybeans and a sticker book… she’d probably still sign off on the agreement.
Still mulling over the drink offer, the stranger made our decision for us, walking over to the bartenders and talking to them. He turned to us and bluntly asked, “Do you like sweet or savoury?” Before I could answer, Mrs. Sip piped in “savoury”, and he put in an order. We didn’t know what would come next… roofie-coladas?
When the bartender was done, I was served what seemed to be a simple vodka soda, while Mrs. Sip was given a drink garnished with a red pepper ring, that we had watched be double-strained and all that jazz. Okay, so clearly this man wasn’t after my heart. We took our first sip, thanked the stranger and told him we liked the cocktails. He paid the bar and left without saying another word. I personally felt stood up!
When he left, we asked the bartender if she knew who he was. Her reply: “He’s the Stoli Vodka rep… he does this all the time.”
Well, cross another item off the bucket list… a complete stranger bought me a drink. I don’t need to say that he was just advertising for his brand… no, he just wanted to get on board with the awesomeness. And after finding out he was a vodka rep, I would have certainly gone anywhere with him!
Drink #67: Pepper Delicious
- 2 oz Gin (I used Bombay Sapphire)
- 1 oz Lime Juice
- Dash of Simple Syrup
- 8 Mint Leaves
- ½ Sliced Red Pepper
- Garnish with red pepper ring and mint leaf
Muddle the lime juice, simple syrup, mint leaves and red pepper all together, then add ice and the gin to your mixer. Shake vigorously (as if there was any other setting to be at) and strain into a martini glass. Thanks to the muddled red pepper, this drink has a sweet and subtle, but enjoyable bite to it, which the mint cools down. All in all, a pretty awesome cocktail!
Sip Advisor Bar Notes (3.5 Sips out of 5):
Our attempt to recreate the drink we were served in Las Vegas may not have been a complete match, but I think it was a good effort and tasted very unique. I’d like to find more recipes that feature Red Pepper.