This cocktail recipe was inspired by a drink I had at the Terminal Bar in Denver Colorado. This upscale bar, located in the renovated Central Station of downtown Denver, features a ritzy atmosphere while serving up interesting cocktails, great wines and local beers. Their cocktail list is impressive and unique with drinks that use coconut-jalapeno-hibiscus tea syrup, aloe and Green Chile vodka, to mention a few.
The original cocktail, that inspired the one I am sharing, used Green Chile vodka, avocado syrup and lime juice. It wasn’t spicy, but it had a great balance between sweet and savory. I loved the earthiness of this cocktail, but thought that adding a bit of spice would kick it up a notch and make it my own. I decided to swap the Green Chile vodka for plain vodka (why buy a flavored vodka just for one cocktail?) and rely on cayenne pepper to do the heavy flavor lifting.
The hardest challenge of creating this cocktail was finding a way to make an avocado syrup that was flavorful and worthwhile. I tried a few different processes but eventually landed on mashing the flesh and cooking it with the sugar and water. A beautiful, thick, flavorful syrup resulted from this process. Bright green in color and smooth in flavor, it was the perfect component for this drink.
- 1 ounce top shelf vodka (such as Titos)
- ½ ounce avocado syrup (see recipe below)
- ½ ounce lime juice
- 1 ounce lime flavored sparkling water (such as LaCroix)
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice cubes. Shake vigorously for a few seconds, strain liquid into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an additional pinch of cayenne and a lime wedge.
I like to serve this cocktail up, in a chilled martini glass. But it is also delicious served on the rocks in a short glass.
Avocado Simple Syrup
Makes 1 cup of simple syrup
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- ½ avocado
Place water and sugar in a small saucepan. Remove pit and peel from avocado half and lightly mash. Add mashed avocado to sauce pan with sugar and water.
Place pan over medium heat and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool completely.
Once cooled, pour syrup through a fine mesh strainer, dispose left over avocado.
Store refrigerated, in an air-tight container for up to a month. Shake before using, it tends to separate after sitting.