Sichuan Peppercorn Cocktails

As soon as I opened the fresh bag of Sichuan peppercorns I knew we needed to create a cocktail to put them in. They were tart, spicy, floral, and something completely unknown. With the help of Serious Eats we found a great way to bring Sichuan peppercorn into cocktails. See below for a recipe for Sichuan Peppercorn Simple Syrup. 

Looking elsewhere on the web for inspiration, I loved this description of Sichuan (also spelled Szechuan) peppercorns from Addition, a company focused on bringing savory to cocktails everywhere. 

"The reality-warping Szechuan Pepper brings amazing floral and citrus notes along with heat that’s different from other peppers and chilies; Szechuan peppers will play tricks on your mouth with the tactile, prickly sensations they impart. " 

How fun does that sound! 

 

Sichuan Peppercorn Whiskey Sour

Sichuan Peppercorn Whiskey Sour

2 oz bourbon
1 oz Sichuan peppercorn simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
egg white (optional)

Pour all ingredients except egg white in a cocktail shaker over ice, shake until well blended and cold. If using, add egg white and shake again until blended. 

Pour over a single large ice cube and garnish with lemon peel and peppercorn (garnish optional). 

 

Because one of us enjoys whiskey and the other gin, we experimented with both and to our pleasant surprise they both work equally well. I love how the gin showed the slightly pink nature of the peppercorn simple syrup!

 

Sichuan Peppercorn Gin Sour

Sichuan Peppercorn Gin Sour

2 oz gin
1 oz Sichuan peppercorn simple syrup
1/2 oz lemon juice
egg white (optional)

Pour all ingredients except egg white in a cocktail shaker over ice, shake until well blended and cold. If using, add egg white and shake again until blended. 

Pour over a single large ice cube and garnish with lemon peel and peppercorn (garnish optional). 

 

Making Simple Syrup

Sichuan Peppercorn Simple Syrup

Chef  Jonathan Zaragoza suggests making a simple syrup with a TON of peppercorns to make sure you get a strong enough flavor-to-sweet ratio, I think it worked well.

Adapted recipe for a quarter batch, results in approximately 1 cup simple syrup

1 cup Sichuan peppercorns
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

In a medium pot you take one cup of water, one cup of sugar, and 1/3 cup of peppercorns, bring them up to a slight boil, take it off the heat, and let it sit. Then do that again two more times, adding an additional 1/3 cup of peppercorns each time. At the end you get an intense syrup.