by Anna Tusa
I WAS RECENTLY introduced to Louisiana Pepper Exchange Pepper Purees, and I thought, “How would these pair with handcrafted cocktails?” I like a cocktail with a little heat, and pepper is good for the metabolism, right? These refreshening cocktails are perfect on a hot NOLA summer day. Here are some of my favorite creations, from my recent Cinco de Bayou celebration:
2 oz Espolon Blanco
1⁄4 tsp LA Pepper Exchange Red Habanero Puree
6 oz bloody Mary mix
1 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice Splash of olive juice
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
In a Collins glass filled with ice combine all ingredients and tumble into until mixed. Garnish with fresh lime, lemon, spicy peppers, okra, and olives.
Tip: Swap the tequila for your favorite vodka for a NOLA Mary.
SPICY PINEAPPLE MARGARITA
2oz Espolon Blanco Tequila
1⁄2 oz Triple Sec
1⁄2 oz agave syrup
1⁄4 tsp LA Pepper Exchange Green Jalapeno Puree
4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
1 oz crushed pineapple
Salt for rim
Lime wedge and pineapple wedge for garnish
Salt the rim of a rocks glass, muddle crushed pineapple in the glass, fill with ice. In a shaker tin filled with ice combine all other ingredients, shake well, and strain into the rocks glass. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and lime wedge.
BLOOD ORANGE TEQUILA SUNRISE
2 oz Espolon Tequila
1 oz freshly squeezed lime juice
1 oz agave
1 tsp LA Pepper Exchange Orange Habanero Puree
4 oz fresh blood orange juice
Fill a Collins glass with ice, pour all ingredients over the ice, and tumble. Garnish with an orange slice.
2 oz Espolon Reposado
1⁄4 tsp LA Pepper Exchange Orange Habanero Puree 2 oz Fresh squeezed lime juice
2 oz Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1⁄4 oz honey
Top with Cava
Sugar the rim of a Coupe glass. In a shaker tin filled with ice, combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain into the coupe glass, and top with Cava or your favorite bubbly.
CALIENTE OLD FASHION
2 oz Espolon Anejo Tequila
1 oz agave
1 oz house made simple syrup using LA Pepper Exchange Jalapeno Puree
3 dashes Bittermens Xocolatl Bitters Orange slice
In a rocks glass muddle the orange and cherry, add ice then add all the other ingredients and tumble until mixed. Tip: Louisiana Pepper Exchange Purees are extremely concentrated, and a little goes a long way. I suggest starting with a 1⁄4 teaspoon of the puree for a drink. If you like it hotter, you can certainly add more. LA Pepper Exchange is a local company, and you can purchase the purees in most supermarkets.
I hope you enjoy these delicious cocktails all summer long.