We Hear There is Trouble in Paradise

There was Trouble in Paradise when Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins were seen romancing each other in the 1930s romcom. Mischief-makers Gaston Monescu and Lily, the respective male and female leads, were cons masquerading as members of royal families.

In recent times, San Francisco’s Tosca Café saw some trouble in their culinary paradise—the bar was facing eviction issues. Sean Penn came to the rescue and brought in celebrity chefs, Ken Friedman and April Bloomfield to revive the place. Isaac Shumway improvised the bar. He devised a cocktail menu that has a balanced mix of the old and the new. Trouble in Paradise is a bridge between the two. It is essentially an aperitif-style cocktail. Black peppercorn, basil, and Campari cleanses and opens up your palate right before a meal.

The Process

Make the Honey Syrup

Take a cup of hot water and half a cup of honey. Stir them until they are well combined. Let it cool. Then store it in an airtight container.

Make the Black Pepper Tincture

Take 180mls of Everclear. Add 60gms of whole black peppercorns. Let it soak for 4 days. Strain it twice in those 4 days. Store it in an airtight container.

Mix your cocktail

Combine 30mls of Wild Turkey, 30mls of Campari, 22 mls of lemon juice, 22 mls of grapefruit juice, 15 mls of the Honey Syrup, 3-5 basil leaves and 2 dashes of Black Pepper Tincture in a cocktail shaker. Add ice chunks and shake well. Take an old fashioned glass, add a few ice cubes, and your cocktail. Serve with fresh basil leaves.