Spice Up Your Life!

Richard Beltzer, Bad Hunter | Chicago

Named for the Spice Girls lyric, this mezcal-based cocktail gets a burst of heat from a house-made Fresno pepper tincture that also includes thyme and star anise. “I wanted to try and find a way to incorporate all of these low-ABV ingredients,” recalls Richard Beltzer, who started with yuzu and pamplemousse liqueurs before taking it to the Bad Hunter team for input. It ultimately became a nine-ingredient drink, including falernum, fortified wine and saison beer, defying traditional structures. “I remember it needed a couple extra layers,” says Beltzer. “It ended up being a collaborative cocktail.”


Serving: 1

  • 4 dashes honey bitters, preferably Bittermens
  • 4 dashes citric acid
  • 4 dashes housemade spicy tincture (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1/2 ounce yuzu liqueur, preferably Joto
  • 1 barspoon grapefruit liqueur, preferably Giffard Pamplemousse
  • 1 barspoon velvet falernum 
  • 1 ounce hyssop-infused Mattei Cap Course quinquina
  • 1 1/4 ounces mezcal, preferably Union
  • Saison beer, to top

Garnish: fresh thyme, hyssop flower

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for the beer, in a mixing tin and shake with ice.
  2. Strain into a Collins glass over an ice spear.
  3. Top with saison beer.
  4. Garnish with fresh thyme and hyssop flower.
Editor's Note

House Made Spicy Tincture:
750ml overproof natural spirit, preferably Gem Clear
20g thyme
20g star anise
20g fresno chili, sliced

Combine all ingredients in a nonreactive container. Let sit for 24 hours, then strain with cheesecloth.

Tagged: mezcal, yuzu