One of the main characters in Food Whore is Michael Saltz: a manipulative, secretive creep who lies to Tia to get his way.
And yet. It was important to me that he wasn’t a cartoon villain. We can spot overt power plays and runaway egotism a mile away. It gets more complicated when the person appeals to a desire within you.
For Tia, that’s recognition and making it in NYC. Michael Saltz offers that in an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime arrangement. Except there’s a catch…
This is a classic Manhattan, with a little twist: jalapeños and ancho chilis infused in the bourbon. Manhattan (the city and the drink) will always sting. We know that. Here, it burns. I used two dried peppers to one fresh one. Why? This is a flash-infusion. If you use all fresh peppers, it will take longer for the flavors to infuse into the bourbon. The dry peppers absorb the liquid more readily, releasing their flavor.
Like Michael Saltz, this is a glamorous, sophisticated drink that packs more of a punch than you might expect. Sip carefully.
RECIPE: Using a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off half an orange. Place inside a mason jar with two dried ancho chilis and one red jalapeño (ie: a green jalapeño that has ripened and turned hotter). Pour 8 oz of bourbon (half a standard mason jar) and let steep at room temperature for at least one hour. After 24 hours, pick out the peppers.
In a cocktail shaker, add ice and 2 ounces bourbon and 1 ounce sweet vermouth. Shake, strain, and pour into a short glass. Spritz the oil of one orange peel into the glass and add with maraschino cherry. Repeat three more times until the bourbon is done.