Christmas is coming, and nothing is as festive as some holiday cheer.
Sure, you could go out and buy a bottle of booze, but wouldn't it be more fun to make your own?
In Miami, most home and office holiday parties serve coquito — the creamy, coconutty rum drink from Puerto Rico.
If you want to explore Christmas around the world in boozy splendor, why not try a taste of Italy?
Macchialina executive chef Michael Pirolo and general manager Jacqueline Pirolo have created a chocolate Calabrese chili liqueur that's easy to whip up at home.
All you need is vodka, a Calabrese chili pepper, and a few ingredients that might be in your kitchen already, and you'll soon have a sweet and spicy libation that's perfect straight up, in a martini, or in some coffee on a chilly Miami evening. Bottle it for a terrific holiday gift.
Today, December 19, at 2:30 p.m., Jacqueline Pirolo will show New Times food editor Laine Doss how to make a bottle of the delightful holiday drink live on Miami New Times' Facebook page.
Visit facebook.com/miaminewtimes to join the conversation.
Here's the recipe so you can follow along:
Macchialina's Chocolate Calabrese Chili Liqueur (makes one 750 ml bottle)
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- 1½ cups sugar
- ¾ cup water
- ½ Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half
- 1 Calabrese chili, cut into a few pieces
- 3 cups premium vodka, such as Tito’s or Absolut
Directions: In a saucepan, simmer water, sugar, and cocoa powder until both are dissolved. Let mixture cool to room temperature. Add mixture to a large jar with vodka, vanilla bean, and chili pieces. Close jar and let it sit for a minimum of 14 days, stirring occasionally. Strain, bottle, and store in freezer.
Macchialina. 820 Alton Rd., Miami Beach; 305-534-2124; macchialina.com.