When it's warm outside and cold inside, or the reverse, there's nothing like a mouth-tingling cocktail to refresh, cool, and warm us up all at once. Here, 10 spicy cocktails we want to drink all season, plus an easy recipe to try at home.
The Electric Daisy
Where: 1212, Santa Monica
What: Lavender-infused gin, French aperitif wine (like Lillet), jalapeno, raspberry, hibiscus-infused agave.
How: The luscious drink at gets its kick from an edible, mouth-numbing Szechuan flower tucked inside a raspberry garnish. “Come in and find out what happens when you take a bite out of it,” the bar staff warns. Don't worry, the effects are only temporary, and well worth the tastebud adventure. Photo courtesy of 1212SantaMonica/Instagram.
Jalapeno Blueberry Mezcal Margarita
Where: Stoked Tacos & Tequila, Houston
What: Mezcal, Spanish orange liqueur, house-made blueberry simple syrup, fresh squeezed lime juice, fresh jalapeño slices, fresh blueberries, lime wedge, smoked salt rim.
How: Stoked Tacos & Tequila will rock your world with its all-vinyl playlist, killer tacos, Mexican street food dishes, and crazy-good cocktails, including the Jalapeno Blueberry Mezcal Margarita. "We wanted to make something fun for the summer that's spicy and smoky but also sweet—and perfect for beating the heat in Houston," says chef and owner Adam Puskorius. Photo courtesy of Stoked Tacos & Tequila.
Where: Roka Akor, Chicago
What: Vodka, coconut sake, elderflower liqueur, ghost pepper liqueur, lime juice, simple syrup, cucumber, shio salt.
How: “The sake offers subtle spice notes and plays well with cucumber and shiso to help round out the drink and make it palatable to someone craving heat in their cold cocktail," says beverage director Rob Holder of his creation. Adam Sandler, David Spade and Rob Schneider have all recently dined at the Chicago restaurant, which also serves up robatayaki-style steak, seafood and sushi. Photo courtesy of Roka Akor.
Where: Filini Bar & Restaurant, Chicago
What: Cachaca, orange Italian aperitif (such as Aperol), pineapple, lime, Hawaiian salt, Thai pepper.
How: The sharp citrus of lime meets the subtle sweetness of sugar cane and the bitterness of orange aperitif in this tropical cocktail. The spicy pop happens at the end, when you sink your teeth into the floating red Thai pepper. Photo courtesy of Fig Media.
Where: Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, San Francisco
What: Silver tequila, serrano-infused organic beet juice, fresh lime, ginger beer, mint.
How: If you've never consumed your beets in the form of a cocktail, a spicy cocktail at that, there's no time like the present. Photo courtesy of Tony’s Pizza Napoletana.
The Controlled Burn
Where: Kachina Southwestern Grill, Westminster, CO
What: Silver tequila, fresh squeezed lime juice, pineapple juice, green French liqueur, simple syrup, house-made scorpion pepper tincture.
How: If you order this house twist on a margarita, you can ask for as many drops of scorpion pepper tincture as you can brave. Photo courtesy of Sage Restaurant Group.
Clio Street Cooler
Where: Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, New Orleans
What: Honeysuckle vodka, simple syrup, lime, grapefruit, jalapeño-lime bitters.
How: Don’t let this drink's name fool you: The housemade jalapeño-lime bitters are fierce, and they make this cocktail truly unforgettable. Photo courtesy of Cafe Adelaide.
Where: Urban Farmer Cleveland, Cleveland, OH
What: Scotch, amaretto, chili-infused cider.
How: The ingredients in this cocktail make for a potent combo, but the blend was just an experiment at first. According to bartender Kindra Johnson, “Infusing the Scotch with jalapeño, cinnamon, apple cider, and amaretto turned out to be a big hit.” Photo courtesy of Sage Restaurant Group.
Where: FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, Minnesota
What: Tequila, fresh pineapple juice, fresh lemonade, ghost pepper salt rim.
How: This restaurant at Minnesota’s Mall of America lives up to its name with the Diablo Martini. “This cocktail brings the heat you would expect from a restaurant named FireLake,” says bartender Jessica Balts. Photo courtesy of FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar.
Where: Ray's & Stark Bar, Los Angeles
What: Gin, mezcal, maraschino cherry liqueur, lime, jalapeño simple syrup.
How: Stop in and try this spicy-sweet refresher, or make it yourself at home (recipe below). Photo courtesy of Patina Restaurant Group.
Recipe for Levitation by Evan Charest:
0.5 oz Luxardo Maraschino liqueur
2 slices jalapeno (remove seeds), plus one whole jalapeno for garnish
1 oz Plymouth Gin
0.5 oz La Nina del Mezcal Primario
0.75 oz lemon juice
Muddle maraschino liqueur and jalapeno in a shaker tin.
Add all other ingredients and shake.
Double strain into a double rocks glass with one large rock of ice.
Garnish with jalapeno.
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