Talk about a drink that will make you feel like you’re relaxing in the summer sun. This spicy gin and orange cocktail is a delicious complement to warm days (and a terrific reminder of summer days to come during the chillier months!).
This recipe allows you to choose your favorite chili pepper and each will offer up a slightly different take on the drink based on their overall heat and flavor profile. Habanero peppers are an excellent choice for their kick and fruity sweet flavor. The heat and flavor are understated in the simple syrup, so don’t be afraid of choosing a pepper a little above your typical heat preference.
Grapefruit gives our spicy gin and orange cocktail an extra taste dimension. The bitter fruitiness is quite tasty here, but this is completely optional depending on your tastes. The sugar-rimmed glass, too, adds extra spice and sweetness. We suggest you don’t skip either to get the full impact of this cocktail.
- 1 cup white sugar plus 1 tablespoon (separated, for glass rimming)
- 1 cup water
- 3 hot peppers your choice of pepper
- 2 ounces gin
- 3 large oranges
- 1 lemon
- ½ grapefruit optional
- 1 cup ice cubes
Make the spicy simple syrup
- Place a small saucepan over medium heat and add 1 cup of sugar and the water.
- Halve your chosen chili peppers and place in the pan with the mixture.
- Allow the mix to come to a simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally to help dissolve the sugar. Once thickened, remove the simple syrup from the heat.
Juice the fruit
- Halve the lemon and slice two thin slices from the halves to use as garnish.
- Squeeze the remainder of the lemon and place the juice in a jar.
- Cut and squeeze the oranges and grapefruit (optional) into the jar. Mix the juice to combine.
Make the drink
- Dip the top rim of each glass into the spicy simple syrup then into the remaining sugar to create a sweet and spicy rim.
- Add ice to each glass then pour over a tablespoon of the spicy syrup and one ounce of gin.
- Pour over the desired amount of fruit juice and stir lightly.
- Garnish with one of the lemon slices (cut a slit to the middle to hang on the glass) and enjoy!