The Bad Boy (Casa B)

With 100 bottles and counting, the bar at Casa B may have the largest selection of rum in the Greater Boston area. However, the drink ordered most frequently at the Somerville restaurant is actually a mezcal cocktail, thanks in large part to one special ingredient: scotch bonnet peppers.

Beverage director Taso Papatsoris first encountered the spicy pepper at the Union Square Farmers Market, held just steps from Casa B’s front door.

“There was a Jamaican farmer [at the market] who grew it,” says Papatsoris. “He said, ‘Take one of these, put it in whatever you’re cooking, and you’ll get amazing flavor.’” Papatsoris decided to experiment with a syrup and eventually landed on a spice-laced pomegranate grenadine.

He combines that syrup with El Buho mezcal, lime juice, and a few dashes of orange bitters to make The Bad Boy.

While the drink certainly leans spicy, it’s no one-trick pony. The heat is tempered by juicy pomegranate and tart lime, while the mezcal delivers a long, smoky finish.

“It’s the kind of drink where one person at a table gets it, and then the whole table orders it,” says Papatsoris.

The Bad Boy
2 ounces El Buho Mezcal

¾ ounce scotch bonnet pepper and pomegranate syrup*
¾ ounce lime juice
4-5 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian Orange Bitters
Lime wedge, for garnish

Add all ingredients to a shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Double strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a lime wedge.

*Scotch Bonnet Pepper and Pomegranate Syrup (yields about 1½ cups)
1 cup sugar

1 cup POM Wonderful pomegranate juice
5 scotch bonnet peppers (1 sliced in half, the rest whole)

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer mixture for 30 minutes or until peppers are softened. Strain into a container, seal, and refrigerate. Keeps about 2 weeks, refrigerated.

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