The Long, Strange Trip
“Candy cap mushrooms have sweet, caramel, and butterscotch notes that play off your tongue. The rest of the drink’s ingredients are all about trying to balance that sweetness, so I infuse the mushrooms with rye, which is astringent, peppery, and bitter. The amaro has nice bitter notes and the lemon juice works well with the mushrooms’ maple flavors. As you drink it, the flavors evolve. It has an amazing finish that lingers quite a bit.” — Zachary Taylor, bar consultant for San Francisco’s Bar 587, Dirty Water, and 83 Proof
1-1/2 ounces candy-cap-mushroom-infused whiskey (recipe follows)
1/2 ounce black pepper syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/4 ounce amaro, preferably Zucca, which is rhubarb flavored
Combine all ingredients except orange peel in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe glass, and garnish with the orange peel.
1 bottle (750 mL) 100-proof rye whiskey
1/8 ounce candy cap mushrooms
Infuse the rye whiskey with candy cap mushrooms for 40 minutes. Strain through cheesecloth. (Note: Save remaining mushroom-infused rye for future use.)
BLACK PEPPER SYRUP
Steep 5 whole black peppercorns in equal parts sugar and water until the sugar dissolves. Strain.