Cherry Chile Jam

Stevan Miller | Chicago

At Esmé, Stevan Miller typically builds his drinks based on how they’ll pair with the restaurant’s menu. The Cherry Chile Jam, for example, was originally designed to pair with a course composed of caviar and peanut miso served with kombu ice cream. “All of those flavors reminded me of really bougie peanut butter. So my mind immediately went to, OK, how do I make a jam to go with this peanut butter explosion?” Miller recalls. This is the answer—in cocktail form.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/2 ounces Seedlip Grove
  • 1 1/2 ounces Seedlip Grove
  • 1 ounce cherry chile syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 ounce cherry chile syrup (see Editor’s Note)
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce lime juice

Garnish: hibiscus ice (see Editor’s Note), lime wheel

  1. Combine all ingredients with ice and shake until chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over hibiscus ice.
  3. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Editor's Note

Cherry Chile Syrup
1 dried ancho chile
1 dried guajillo chile
500 grams granulated sugar
400 milliliters water
50 grams tart cherry juice

1. Soak the chiles in warm water (separate from the 400 milliliters) for 5 minutes. Remove all seeds and pat dry, then cut the chiles into strips.
2. In a saucepan, combine the chile strips with sugar, water and cherry juice. Heat to 190°F for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally, then blend and strain through a chinois. Keeps, refrigerated, for 1 week.

Hibiscus Ice
300 milliliters water
15 grams dried hibiscus tea
7.5 grams sugar

Bring the water to a boil, then add the hibiscus and sugar. Steep for 7 minutes. Let cool, then strain. Pour into an ice cube tray and freeze.