Monday, February 11, 2013

Oscar Cocktails: The Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained tells the story of former slave turned bounty hunter Django (Jamie Foxx) who, along with fellow bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), seek to rescue Django's wife (Kerry Washington) from plantation owner Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). The film is nominated for five Oscars, including Picture, Supporting Actor (Waltz) and Original Screenplay.

Django Unchained demonstrates Tarantino's typically bold filmmaking style: a visually rich fusion of '60s Italian spaghetti western and '70s blaxploitation genres that gives new spin to old tropes. For the drink, I started with something southern and traditional--a mint julep--and aimed an irreverent shot of fiery peppercorn syrup right through it. Consider it the cocktail equivalent of Django's gunfight in Candie Land.

Oscar Cocktails: The Django Unchained

8 mint leaves
1 oz. peppercorn syrup (see recipe below)
2 oz. bourbon
2 oz. club soda
Mint sprig (optional garnish)

Add mint leaves and peppercorn syrup to highball glass and muddle. Fill glass with ice then add bourbon and club soda. Stir to mix with muddled syrup. Garnish with mint sprig.

Peppercorn Syrup

Makes about 8 oz.

3/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. black peppercorns, roughly crushed

Combine water, sugar and peppercorns in a saucepan. Bring to boil and cook 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and steep for 40 minutes. Strain out peppercorns.

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