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Author Notes: This cold-weather cocktail is meant to mimic the refreshing cucumber coolers of summertime in taste and mouthfeel. The blood orange works beautifully for sweetness and color and the black pepper tincture brings in a hint of winter's spice. —Chase the Flavors
- 4 ounces vodka, 80 proof or higher
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1/2 small cucumber, cut into 6 slices
- 1 blood orange
- 6 dashes black pepper tincture
- 2 ounces gin
- 1 ounce simple syrup
- dashes salt
- Combine vodka and peppercorns in a small glass jar. Put a lid on the jar and let steep in a kitchen cupboard for at least a week, but up to a month, gently shaking once a day. Strain through a sieve and store at room temperature in a clean glass jar or tinctures bottle.
- Place 4 slices of cucumber in a cocktail shaker and muddle it.
- Reserve a slice of the blood orange for garnish and juice the rest of the blood orange into a cocktail shaker.
- Add black pepper tincture, gin, simple syrup and ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a highball glass onto fresh ice.
- Add a dash of salt, give it a single stir then garnish with remaining cucumber slices and blood orange slice.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Vegan Recipe