3 ounces pepper + citrus shrub
3 ounces fresh pressed apple cider
Soda water to taste
Cortland (or local) apple garnish
TO PREPARE PEPPER CITRUS SHRUB
Bring 4 ounces of water and 1 medium serrano pepper (or large jalapeño), including seeds to a boil. Remove from heat. Steep 5 minutes. Strain. Add 4 ounces agave nectar. Stir to combine and let cool. Then add 3 ounces fresh lime juice, 1 ounce orange juice, 1 ounce organic distilled white vinegar*. (Makes shrub for 4 drinks)
TO BUILD DRINK
Add pepper citrus shrub, then add apple cider and 5-7 ice cubes into a mixing glass or shaker. Shake and strain into mason jar filled with ice. Top with 1-2 ounces of soda water and add Cortland (or Fuji) apple slice for garnish. Serve with metal straw (one fewer thing to throw away)!
*Important caveat: some vinegars have trace amounts (1-2% ABV). If you want to make 100% sure there's no alcohol in your drink, omit the vinegar when making your shrub.
RECIPE BY John Wiseman of Curious Elixirs, @johnwise