Bitter End

Campari and orange are a favorite wintertime combo, and this cocktail ups the ante with a homemade burnt orange and peppercorn syrup.

1 1/2 oz. gin
1/2 oz. Italian amaro
1/2 oz. Campari
1/2 oz. burnt orange-peppercorn syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon
Glass: cocktail
Garnish: flamed orange twist (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass and stir with ice. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish.

Burnt Orange-Peppercorn Syrup
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. green peppercorns, whole
3 long peppers
1 Tbsp. Szechuan peppercorns
1/2 star anise
12 allspice berries, whole
1 cup fresh orange juice
The zest of 3 oranges

In a medium saucepan, wet sugar with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and caramelize to a deep amber caramel (it will smoke slightly).  Turn off the heat and add the spices. Swirl for about 30 seconds, then add the orange juice and zest (it will seize and then boil like mad). Stir over low heat until the caramel has unseized. Strain into a clean glass jar and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Travis Fourmont, Roast, Detroit