This is the drink that got me interested in craft cocktails.
When I visited a good friend of mine in New York City 5 years ago, he said “Here’s a bar I know you’d like.” He said that because he and I appreciated good food and cooking (he was a teacher for most of his life, but he is now a pastry chef at a really reputable NYC restaurant). He was right.
He took me to Saxon + Parole on Bowery St. in the Lower East Side of New York City. It was late afternoon and the place was mostly empty. We walked through an empty yet elegant dining room to the bar, with a marble bar, bartenders in striped aprons, and an array of herbs, fruits, vegetables and other colorful whole foods adorning the bar. Behind the bar tenders was a huge block of clear ice that they used a chisel and pick to create the ice cubes. This type of bar is not for everyone, and some may use words like pretentious or hipster, but I loved it. Every molecule in this bar screamed “we care about the drinks we make and serve.”
At $13-$15 a cocktail, I experienced very well-balanced creatively constructed drinks that were a delight. However, one stood out, and really opened my eyes to the world of hard alcohol. That drink is called The Bowery Fix.
Almost five years later, I decided to dive into the hobby of craft cocktail making. Mixologist. Home bartender. It helped that the recipe for my favorite drink I had at Saxon + Parole finally made its way online. When I decided to make the Bowery Fix at home, I purchased bottles of liquid I couldn’t pronounce and have never heard of.
I made it, and it was amazing.
Here is how to make the Bowery Fix, my absolute favorite cocktail.
All credit goes to Naren Young.
The exact recipe is on the bottom of the page.
I arranged the ingredients, including the ones I’ve prepared days (some of them weeks) in advance, which include the simple syrup (it looks dark because I used turbinado sugar cane), the Thai chili pepper-infused vodka, and the citrus salt.
The first step is to make the yellow bell pepper juice. I don’t have a juicer, and I’m guessing most of you do not either. In the past, I used my awesome food processor (RIP) but a blender or something like a Magic Bullet (which I used) is fine as well.
I made sure not to include any of the white pith.
I also always add a little bit of filtered water, maybe a tablespoon worth, to help the bell pepper pieces liquefy better.
I do not have a cheese cloth, so I just strain the juice out through several sieves. In the past I’ve also used my Aero Press, which presses the juice through a paper filter, which clears it up a lot more. I’m sure using a normal coffee pot filter would work as well.
Once I have all of the parts of the drink set, I begin measuring them out (if you see a previous post on the Aviation cocktail, measurements do matter in cocktail recipes).
NOTE: I only had GREEN Chartreuse even though the recipe calls for Yellow. I’ve made it with Yellow in the past and I prefer it with Yellow, but Green works fine as well.
Shook on ice. Double strained. I did not choose to make the drops of chili oil for this drink, but I’ve done it in the past and it adds a wonderful appearance.
The drink works so well. It’s very unique because when most of us think “savory” cocktails, we may think about a Bloody Mary, or even an extra element like cilantro and jalapeno in a margarita. I enjoy how the signature flavor of this is yellow bell pepper, which, when it’s completely fresh, is very satisfying. It works with the two agave spirits perfectly. I love my drinks when they are a bit complicated (yet work well together) so I enjoy the spice and heat from the few drops of tincture (chili tincture should be viewed as the “pepper” of a cocktail; the spiciness should add a bit of a kick without interfering with the main flavors), the smokiness from the mezcal, the bite of the citrus salt, and the honey-fruitiness of the Chartreuse.
It’s my favorite drink. By far.
And you can make it at home for yourself or your guests. Last week for my 4th Annual Grilled Cheese party, I created a whole batch of this the night before and served it to my guests the next day (after shaking individual servings on ice, of course) and it works perfectly fine that way.
Here is the video that describes how to make it, which includes the creator and the bar itself:
The Bowery Fix
1 and 1/2 oz. tequila blanco
1/4 oz. yellow chartreuse
1/2 oz. mezcal
1 oz. fresh yellow bell pepper juice
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 oz. simple syrup
3 dashes chili tincture
pinch of citrus salt
Shake with ice. Double strain. Garnish with chili oil drops.
To make citrus salt – zest a little bit of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit. Put in mortar and pestle and crush into sea salt.
To make chili tincture – wash, cut open and de-seed several hot peppers (Thai chili peppers, jalapenos, chipotle peppers, etc). Let sit overnight in cool dark place in vodka. When the heat/flavor is to your liking, take out the peppers.
To make chili oil drops – completely crush up red pepper flakes, mix with olive oil for a few hours. Strain oil into bottle with dropper.