Black pepper may seem like a bizarre addition to not-so-savoury cocktail, but the peppered rim is one of the most enjoyable parts of this cocktail. Coupled with the viscous raspberry purée, you might almost forget you’re drinking a cocktail at all!
Frozen raspberries work just as well as fresh raspberries in this recipe, which means this delectable cocktail can be enjoyed all year round. You can even switch out the freshly squeezed orange juice for a store-bought alternative, though you should reduce the syrup in the recipe if you take this route.
- 1/2 cup of water
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 3 pints of fresh raspberries, rinsed
- 2 oranges, juiced
- 3 to 4 ounces of vodka
- 1 bottle of champagne (sparkling wine or Prosecco)
- 1/4 cup of turbinado sugar (raw sugar)
- 1/4 cup of freshly cracked black pepper
- lemon wedges
- fresh thyme sprigs
- Combine the water and sugar in a small sauce pot. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. It’ll get syrupy as it cools.
- Throw the raspberries into a blender or food processor along with the fresh orange juice and blend until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into a fine mesh strainer, placed over a peel, to remove the raspberry seeds. Discard the seeds. Pour the raspberry mixture into a large pitcher and stir in as much of the simple syrup as you’d like. If you like sweeter drinks, add more syrup, and if you don’t like sweet drinks, add only a splash. Stir in the vodka and sparkling wine.
- Combine the black pepper and raw sugar in a shallow dish. Run the lemon wedge along the edge of the glasses to create a glue. Then dip the glass, upside-down into the shallow dish of sugar and pepper. Repeat until all of the glasses are coated. Pour the cocktail into the pepper sugar rimmed glasses and top with a sprig of thyme.
- Serve and drink right away. Enjoy!