I totally forgot to include in my last post, about the pig heart, the other culinary experiment of the evening: Black Pepper Martinis! I had promised @wurmouroboros that I’d post the details. Black Pepper Martinis are like regular martinis, but with more bite! The key is the black pepper syrup, which is like simple syrup, and I imagine it can probably be used for a number of different drink recipes:
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
- Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to bring mixture to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Strain the cooled syrup and refrigerate it in a container with a tight fitting lid.
Notes: You can made this syrup with the standard black peppercorns, known as Tellicherry, or you could seek out more exotic peppers. The spiciness will vary depending on how finely the peppercorns are cracked—finer will give you more heat, coarser will be more tame. This syrup will last up to 1 month when refrigerated in an airtight container.
Then you make a regular martini and add some black pepper syrup. The ratios are entirely up to you, but mine went something like this: 1 shot 12 Bridges Gin (from Portland, natch), 1 shot extra dry vermouth, ~1 teaspoon syrup. You’ll have to play around with the ratios depending on how strong you want your martini, how hot your syrup is, and how much spiciness you can tolerate. For me, the net result ended up frequently confusing my tongue. One sip would taste like there’s not enough pepper, but the next would feel like there is too much. It was an odd sensation that I look forward to repeating in the not-too-distant future.