The Key to Fiery Cocktails

With all the talk these days about bartenders need for innovation and creativity, we are always looking for new ways to enjoy our alcohol. But for those of us who aren’t experienced enough to attempt flair bartender or don’t have the skill to create our own cocktails, there are a faithful few fiery, hot cocktails that have been providing drinkers with a savoury, yet refreshing kick.

Many swear by spicy cocktails like the Bloody Mary to cure a hangover, perfect after a night of over indulgence.

Spicy cocktails are interesting because they are as spicy as a meal and as refreshing as any other drink, so they can satisfy a number of cravings at once. However bartenders warn that there is a trick to balancing the flavours in a spicy cocktail. But the contrast of flavours is rewarding and cannot be matched.

Because most spicy cocktails consist of hot sauce,jalapenos, habaneros or peppers, which vary in taste and heat, its best to start off with a small amount and then work your way up the heat ladder. Everyone’s preferences and tolerances for heat are different, so it would probably be a good idea to get an indication of a person’s preference before making them the drink or warning them beforehand if it’s going to really knock their socks off with heat.

Spicy cocktails differ from food in that fiery foods can be recovered from quite quickly after drinking milk or a glass of water. However alcohol tends to intensify the heat of a spicy cocktail. That is why balance is key.

Especially if you have never tried fiery drinks before, it’s best to stick to the old favourites before becoming creative. Start with a Bloody Mary, which is both easy and a tried and tested favourite. The best part is that it is perfect for a brunch or mid-morning drink. The tomato flavour is both refreshing and tasty and you can control how mild or spicy you want it. This is how it’s generally made:

Bloody Mary Ingredients:

  • 3 oz tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 1/2 oz lemon juice
  • 1 dash of Worcestershire sauce
  • ground pepper
  • salt
  • hot pepper sauce to taste
  • celery stalk and/or pickle spear for garnish
  • lemon /lime wedge for garnish


1. Add all the liquid ingredients into a highball glass over ice cubes.

2.Mix well.

3.Add the seasonings (ground pepper and salt) to taste.

4.Garnish with the lemon and/or lime wedge and the traditional celery stalk.

The very hot cocktails most often include the use of peppers or hot sauce but some not so spicy options tend to use black or cayenne pepper instead to accent the spicy flavour but not overwhelm the drink. Some alcohol producers have also jumped on the bandwagon by producing pepper and chilli infused alcohol such as jalapeno tequila. Wasabi is also becoming more widely used in making cocktails in trendy bars around the world.

Here we have included 2 less known but equally delicious cocktails that you can use to test your ability to make spicy cocktails.
The Big Breezy.

This drink was apparently created to be made with Absolut New Orleans vodka. It’s a martini that compliments the flavours of the mango- and black pepper- infused vodka and has a slight watermelon taste.


  • 2 parts Absolut New Orleans vodka
  • 4 chunks fresh watermelon
  • 1 part simple syrup
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • pinch of black pepper
  • lemon slice for garnish


1.Place all ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

2.Shake well.

3.Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

4.Garnish with a melon ball and lemon slice.
The Bull Shot.
Although this drink is not for everyone, it’s worth a try, especially if you want to show your creativity.

You can use the sauce and spices to adapt the drink to a person’s preference. This drink has been served warm as well, similar to a cup of soup on a cold day.


  • 1 1/2 oz vodka
  • 3 oz chilled beef bouillon
  • dash of Worchestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste
  • celery salt (optional)


1.Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice(if serving it cold).

2.Shake well.

3.Strain into a highball glass filled with ice.