Hello, happy hour! This unique Black Pepper Date Cocktail features a tongue-tingling simple syrup starring the contrasting flavors of bold black pepper and naturally sweet Medjool dates. Mix with dark rum, elderflower liqueur and fresh lime juice to experience the next wave of spicy, refreshing flavor.
For the Black Pepper Date Simple Syrup, bring all ingredients, except cornstarch, to simmer in medium saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve, being careful not to press too much of the pulp solids through the strainer. Place cornstarch in small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of the strained date mixture with the cornstarch; mix well.
Return remaining strained date mixture back to the saucepan. Stir in cornstarch mixture with whisk until well blended. Bring to simmer. Cook and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Store syrup in tightly covered, clean container in refrigerator until ready to use. (Makes 1 1/2 cups syrup. Enough for 12 Black Pepper Date Cocktails.)
For 1 Black Pepper Date Cocktail, place ice in cocktail shaker. Add Black Pepper Date Simple Syrup, rum, elderflower liqueur and lime juice; shake until well mixed and chilled. Strain into beverage glass. Garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary, if desired. Serve immediately.
Test Kitchen Tip: Leftover Black Pepper Date Simple Syrup can be used to prepare additional Black Pepper Date Cocktails or other cocktails using caramel-colored distilled spirits, such as rum, bourbon, whiskey and scotch.