Spicy Fire Breather Shot

Guest post written by Mr. Metrocurean

Last weekend my wife and I enjoyed a remarkably delicious (and filling) brunch at Jean-Georges Vongerichten's ABC Kitchen in New York. The multi-course meal was kicked off with a round of healthy shots (read: no alcohol) from the restaurant's Elixir Bar.

I love spicy anything, so the shot dubbed the Fire Breather — a mix of lemon juice, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper — caught my eye. “It will wake your whole system up,” our waiter promised.

An innocent-looking glass beaker, barely the size of a shot glass, was delivered to the table filled with a murky, pale yellow liquid. One tiny sip had me wanting to yell out a Pacino-style HOOAH (but I refrained). The blast of powerful burning heat on a Sunday morning did a better job waking me up than coffee ever could. A spicy yet rewarding punch in the palate.

I had to try to recreate it at home, so after several batches, here is the recipe I came up with.

Fire Breather Shot

makes 2 shots

a large 2 to 3-inch hunk of ginger

1 large garlic clove

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 lemon

Slice the ginger and garlic in chunks and crush well in a mortar and pestle. Squeeze an entire lemon into the mix, and add a dash of cayenne pepper. Add about an ounce and a half of water and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture through a strainer into a glass and make sure to squeeze all the juices out of the pulp. Serve in shot glasses (or class it up like me and pour into a coupe). For those less adventurous, add a couple more ounces of water to dilute.