Tuesday, January 24, 2023

"Hot Shot" Spicy Gin-Lime Cocktail


Hot Shot cocktail photo
This is a lightly spicy gin-lime cocktail which was reverse-engineered from the menu description at Blue Water Distilling in Everett WA. It has obvious flavors of jalapeno, cilantro, celery, and lime, rounded out with ginger simple syrup. The heat level is quite moderate, but it's not a drink you'll want to chug. 

To make this cocktail you will need to make three infusions... One spicy vodka, one celery tincture, and one ginger simple syrup. You'll combine those ingredients with gin and lime juice, and garnish with cucumber and Tajin. Nothing is difficult to prepare.


I'm mixing units, it's true. You'll cope. 

Jalapeño-cilantro vodka

12 fl oz vodka
50 g green jalapeño (de-seeded, membrane scraped out, and roughly chopped)
20 g cilantro (leaves and stems)

Celery tincture

6 oz Everclear (vodka would be OK)
1 tablespoon celery seed (lightly pan roasted)
10 g celery leaf

Ginger simple syrup

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
30 g ginger (rough chopped, skin on OK)

Other drink ingredients

Lime juice


Cucumber (your favorite variety)


Jalapeño-cilantro vodka

1. Combine the vodka, jalapeno, and cilantro in a Mason jar or vacuum bag. Muddle the veggies and seal the container

2. Sous vide the mixture at 150F for 1 hour.

3. Strain the mixture into a jar for storage. 

The infused vodka should be medium-dark green, have moderate spiciness, and rich veggie flavors. It's a good start for other spicy cocktails. 

Celery tincture

1. Toast the celery seeds in a dry pan over medium heat, until the smell is strong. If you see any smoke at all, stop -- you're done. Pour the seeds into a bowl to stop toasting. (Optional: Lightly grind the toasted seeds, but don't powder them--just crack them.)

2. Combine the Everclear, celery seeds, celery leaves in a Mason jar or vacuum bag. Muddle the leaves and seal the container. 

3. Sous vide the mixture at 150F for 1 hour.

4. Strain the mixture into a jar for storage. 

The dark green tincture should have a very strong celery flavor and slight bitterness.

Ginger simple syrup

1. Combine the water, sugar, and ginger in a pan.

2. Beat up the ginger with a muddler or other tool, but don't break it into fine pieces.

3. Bring the mixture to a low simmer and hold for about 5 minutes. 

4. Strain the mixture into a jar for storage. 

The syrup should have an obvious but not overpowering ginger flavor, and a light yellow color. 


1. Skin the cucumber if needed, and chop into semicircles about 1/4" thick.

2. Make a slit in the flat side of the cucumber so it can be easily pushed onto the rim of a glass.

3. Coat half of each cucumber slice in Tajin.

Cocktail assembly

Use these proportions as a starting point. Be careful about adding too much celery tincture or lime juice, as they can easily overpower everything else. 

1 part gin

1 part jalapeño-cilantro vodka

1/2 part ginger simple syrup

1/2 part lime

1/8 part celery tincture

Put a Tajin cucumber on the rim of the glass. Consider a shake of Tajin on the top of the drink, or even rimming the glass with Tajin, as the salt/sour/chile flavor is important to round out the flavors. 



The infusions can be scaled up as big as you wish. 

You could make less of the celery tincture, as it's used in a much smaller amount than the vodka. 

You could probably make the simple syrup with the same sous vide time and temperature settings, but a quick simmer extracts plenty of ginger flavor. 

A strainer will remove the veggies from the infusions, but you'll be left with some fine particles. You can strain the infusions through a coffee filter to clarify them further, but it probably isn't worth the effort as the lime juice will make the final drink cloudy anyway. Just try to let the particles settle to the bottom of the storage jars, and make an effort to not stir them up when you decant.