This drink is a kiss-on-the-cheek hello to summer. I'm from Miami, where it is already well into the 80s every day so we might as well welcome the sunny days with a refreshing yet complex drink.
The maple syrup complements the inherent sweetness of bourbon, and it's the sweetness that hits you first in a sip. Then, the jalapeño kicks in to temper the drink.
A bit of lemon juice balances everything out, and a thin slice in a drink is always alluring. —Ileana Morales Valentine
Cut off the top of a jalapeño, and slice the whole jalapeño in half lengthwise. Use a small spoon to scoop out the seeds, and set aside. Slice three long sticks of the jalapeño to use later for garnish. Slice the remaining two long pieces of jalapeño into half-moons.
In a cocktail shaker, add 7 or 8 of the half-moon slices of jalapeño, and 5 of the seeds. Add a 1/2 ounce of maple syrup. Muddle it 20 times.
Cut a lemon in half. Cut a couple thin slices of one half and set aside. Cut the other half in half again. Take a quarter of the lemon and squeeze the juice into the cocktail shaker.
Add 2 ounces of bourbon to the cocktail shaker. Add four or so ice cubes and stir about 8 times.
Strain the drink into a chilled glass, making sure no seeds get into the drink. Add the three long jalapeño slices, a lemon slice, and ice. Enjoy!
Note: With a bottle of bourbon and a bottle of maple syrup, the rest of the ingredients will give you enough for two cocktails.