The Socialite

As served at Social House inside Crystals at CityCenter, $14

A former world champion flair bartender turned world-class mixologist, Social House bartender Christian Oldan knows precisely what to do to get—and more importantly, to keep—his patrons’ attention. Whether by deftly tossing his mixing tins around as he constructs Social House’s signature cocktails, or by combining the subtle sweetness of Sailor Jerry rum with the sneaky heat of Serrano peppers, all eyes are on Oldan.

“This cocktail pairs really well with some of our dishes,” Oldan says. “The spiciness of the rum and the Serrano chili cuts the oiliness of the fish [Seven suggests the rich citrus-peel miso cod] without taking away the flavor of it.” Oldan recommends this cocktail to, well, socialites, of course, but also to “adventurous drinkers who are looking to discover new flavors and a new experience, not only in our cuisine, but also in our beverage program.”

The fourth in Cocktail Culture’s series of peppered cocktails (read: it’s a trend), the Socialite takes us on a hiatus from tequila and demonstrates how rum, too, can benefit from a little sweet-heat. But really, who wouldn’t?

  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce cranberry juice
  • ¾ ounce Boiron passion fruit purée
  • 1 ounce house-made Serrano chili syrup (recipe below)
  • 2 ounces Sailor Jerry spiced rum
  • A lotus root chip for garnish

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass. Add ice, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a dried lotus root chip.

Mise en Place: Serrano chili syrup

Using a juice extractor, process enough Serrano chili peppers to yield 1 ounce of juice. Combine up to the full ounce with 2.5 liters of chilled simple syrup (50/50 water and sugar, heated, dissolved and cooled) according to the desired level of heat (halve the recipe for less). Remember that peppers can vary greatly in their heat, so taste as you go!