THAT kind of pepper


Occasionally your humble Coupe Tales proprietor errs. Phenomenally.


One such boner occurred when I opened my new bottle of Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin.

First things first: Uncle Val’s is reliable and tasty. Let us come to a right understanding now: this mistake was mine.

A nice gin and tonic, I felt, would show off the new gin’s flavor profile and make the day’s obligations fly by. I paired Uncle Val’s Peppered Gin with Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic. I love a good spicy botanical gin. Matching it to a slightly floral tonic would really set off the spice.

The gin and tonic disappointed me. (Understatement.) My anticipated glass of spices and flowers gave way to a strange meatiness.

Today, over a full month past the purchase of my new gin, I tried again with Fever Tree Mediterranean tonic and again faced a savory glass of chaos. Is that bacon in my glass? Is that smoke? Where are the spicy tongue-tingles of juniper and black pepper?!

Well, today’s the day I finally looked at the damn bottle closely enough to identify exactly which peppers we’re talking about.

“This gin is distilled 5X and infused with red peppers, black peppers and pimento.”

My disappointed stemmed entirely from the fact that I anticipated black pepper. These strong, toothsome red pepper and pimento pepper notes were unexpected and therefore “wrong” because I was born with an inadequate concentration of taste buds to solve the confusion based on drinking alone.

And that is why I will never make money off this cocktail blogging hobby of mine.

Go forth and use the Peppered Gin in your Bloody Mary (a drink I dislike, but recognize the general fondness for). Fat-wash it with bacon drippings (surely it was made for that). Play with curry, cilantro, or vegetable flavors. But do not expect cracked black pepper. (It’s in there but it’s by far the least dominant pepper note.)

I solemnly swear to henceforth read labels before making judgments.


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