The unguent, earthy flavor of black pepper has graced a few brands of infused vodkas, but has stopped short of becoming a regular bar ingredient. That should change. Black pepper brings out some beautifully balanced characteristics in cocktails, especially those that use cherries, watermelon, or berries. Try this Raspberry Black Pepper Champagne Cocktail, and see for yourself.
For the simple syrup: In a medium saucepan, add 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar, and a small handful of whole black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let sit until cool, and strain out the peppercorns.
In the bottom of a pint glass, muddle the raspberries with the black pepper simple syrup. Add the gin and lemon juice, and shake vigorously until combined and cold. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a chilled coupe glass, and top with champagne. Garnish with a lemon twist