What IS that flavor?

When done right, black pepper can be a perfectly elusive cocktail ingredient. Like its cousin, salt, it adds a depth of flavor and layer of interest to a drink. And when done well, it can seem nearly impossible to figure out what “that” flavor is.

This Collins is a perfect example of this effect. A simple variation with a blackberry syrup would have been delicious – but Chris chose to add that subtle extra element of heat and it was the perfect finish.


When using black pepper in cocktails, be careful. A lot goes a long way, especially when infused with spirits, or infused in a syrup over heat. It adds a beautiful background warmth when added in moderation. Of course if you’re looking for a downright spicy cocktail – by all means, go to town!

This drink is fruity and a little bit sweet, but it’s rounded out perfectly by the herbal notes of the gin and the slow, low pepper heat. It’s not a “flat” flavor at all – all thanks to a tiny bit of pepper.