Gabe Cothes created this macerated strawberry and Serrano pepper double whammy to show off the flavors of the West when he was a bartender at the warm and inventive SoMA spot Salt House. “It was really important to me that all the ingredients oozed the west coast,” Cothes, who grew up on the beach in the classic California beach town of Capitola, said.
When thinking about his perfect sunset accompaniment, Cothes pictured himself on the beach. “The sun is setting, the coastal breeze is picking up, perhaps a little fog is setting in.” He didn’t want the cocktail to be too cold, too sharp or too boozy — just “a little glow that still could become a fire.” To that end, he created a variation of a classic-style fizz, featuring Capurro Pisco Acholado as the star with a gentle helping of smooth, fruity gold rum as supporting cast. Adding just an ounce of the sweet, piquant Serrano-strawberry shrub instead of lemon really ups the ante. Topped with soda, this is the perfect way to start the evening.
Macerate the strawberries and peppers in the vinegar for 24 hours. After 24 hours add the sugar mixture to taste. Stir the sugar until dissolved. Leave to marinate another 24 hours. After the second 24 hours fine strain the liquid from the solids and refrigerate. This will last approximately 24 hours.
Place all ingredients into a shaker cup and dry shake (no ice). Add ice to the mixture and shake a second time (a double shake is necessary to foam the egg up). Double-strain the mixture into a chimney, Collins-style, glass.
Add ice to the drink, leaving a small amount of space at the top of the glass. Add a small spritz of soda water and a final dash of Peychaud's bitters to finish. Garnish with a strawberry slice.