Carolina Creeper

Kindred Spirits by | Jun 2016 | Issue #113

Crafted at Pint Central in Charlotte, N.C.

At Pint Central, we’re fans of the innovative spirits from Asheville-based Fair Game Beverage Co. Made with North Carolina-grown Tobago peppers, Flying Pepper Vodka has the flavor of Habanero peppers but none of the heat. Watermelon provides a refreshing base to the herbaceous taste of Cappelletti, a wine-based aperitif, while lemon and thyme subtly act as a bridge to the peppery finish. Catawba Brewing Co.’s White Zombie Witbier finishes the cocktail with a light, smooth mouthfeel.

1 1/2 oz Fair Game Beverage Flying Pepper Vodka
1/2 cup fresh watermelon, cubed
1/2 oz Cappelletti
1/2 oz lemon thyme simple syrup
3 oz Catawba White Zombie (or another Witbier with plenty of citrus flavor, like Allagash White or Hitachino Nest White Ale)
1 slice lemon
1 leaf basil

In a yarai mixing glass or a tin, muddle lemon slice and watermelon. Add vodka, Cappelletti, syrup and ice. Stir 30 times with mixing spoon. Double strain into coupe glass. Slowly add the Witbier to fill. Slap basil in your hand, rub it around the coupe’s rim, and use as garnish.

Lemon Thyme Syrup Instructions
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 lemon, zested
4 sprigs thyme

Combine water, sugar and lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme sprigs, cover and refrigerate for 1–2 days. Strain syrup through a fine mesh strainer. Keep refrigerated.