The Loser

At Tales of the Cocktail 2006, a cocktail festival held in New Orleans, Todd Thrasher entered the Bar Chef competition with this drink; although it's terrific, it lost.

1 drink


Black Pepper Syrup

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/4 cup coarsely cracked black peppercorns

The Loser cocktail

  • Ice

  • 1 ounce pisco

  • 1/2 ounce Velvet Falernum (clove-spiced liqueur)

  • 3 ounces pineapple juice

  • 1 ounce fresh lemon juice

  • 1 ounce chilled club soda

  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper, for garnish


Make the syrup

  1. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and stir over moderately high heat until dissolved. Add black peppercorns and let stand off the heat for 20 minutes. Strain the syrup into a jar, cover and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks.

Make the cocktail

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the pisco, Velvet Falernum, pineapple juice, lemon juice, and 1/2 ounce of the Black Pepper Syrup (reserve the rest for another use). Strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Stir in the soda; garnish with the pepper.

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