Ghost peppers are one of the world’s hottest chiles, and in this recipe they add a spicy twist to the classic Paloma. Not ready to play with so much fire? Scrappy’s Firewater Bitters lend a balanced sweet heat to the drink too, says bartender Morrison Nichols.
1½ oz. blanco tequila
½ oz. mezcal
¾ oz. agave syrup (2:1)
¾ oz. fresh grapefruit juice
½ oz. fresh lime juice
3 dashes ghost pepper tincture (or Scrappy’s Firewater Bitters)
2 oz. grapefruit soda, to top
Tools: shaker, strainer
Garnish: orange peel
Prep a highball glass by rimming the edge with chili-salt (mix 3 parts kosher salt to 1 part chili powder to 1 part cayenne chili powder). Shake all the ingredients, except the grapefruit soda, with ice, then strain into the prepared glass. Top with grapefruit soda, then garnish.
Ghost Pepper Tincture: Finely chop 2 oz. of dried ghost peppers (it’s a good idea to use gloves for this). Infuse the peppers into a liter of Everclear for 10 days. Strain the peppers out of the liquid before using.
Morrison Nichols, No Vacancy, Los Angeles
Did you enjoy this recipe? Sign up for our newsletter and get our favorite drink recipes of the moment in your inbox every month.