Award-winning mixologist Christina Mah, the bar chef at Charcut Roast House in Hôtel Le Germain Calgary, created this original, gastronomic-inspired cocktail for the hotel's new bar, called Lounge Central 889.
1½ ounces chilled Skyy Vodka
½ ounce fresh lemon juice
2 healthy dashes of Fee Brothers Grapefruit Bitters
1¼ ounces peppered wine reduction
Prepare the reduction in advance by combining a cup of red wine (preferably a syrah or a zinfandel) with a half cup of raw sugar, 2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns and a quarter slice of ginger root in a pot on the stove.
Bring all the ingredients to a boil and let simmer for about 10 minutes (15 if you want extra spiciness).
Fine-strain and cool the liquid, which can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.
When you're ready to make the cocktail, simply combine all ingredients, save the peppered-wine reduction, in an old fashioned glass. Add crushed ice and swizzle with a bar spoon. Top with more crushed ice so that the ice is higher than the glass' lip, creating a cap. Drizzle the peppered-wine reduction on top and garnish with two lemon slices.