Qadeem Hassan is the mixologist/operating partner at Session Cocktails, with locations in Tuscaloosa and Auburn, AL.
The Ring My Bell cocktail was inspired by a trip to Asheville, NC, where I discovered the use of fresh and unique local produce in cocktails. Wanting to offer a savory drink without the spiciness commonly associated with tequila-based cocktails, the idea of using bell peppers as the main ingredient came to fruition.
The goal was to deliver a pepper-forward experience with a subtle taste that would appeal to a wider audience. The addition of an aromatic sweet-pepper garnish enhanced the drink with a hint of spice, elevating its overall flavor profile.
Experimenting and fine-tuning the recipe took several months. I initially created a shrub using various combinations of fruit, sugar, and vinegar. But I found that a shrub wouldn’t provide the desired consistency, so ultimately, I chose a 1-to-1 syrup with added salt as the base.
The cocktail underwent numerous adjustments, including changes to glassware, garnish, ingredients and type of ice. The name was eventually changed from From The Garden to Ring My Bell after being inspired by the song Ring My Bell by Anita Ward, which perfectly captured the essence of the cocktail. I present it to guests as a unique Margarita-style drink with a savory and pepper-forward taste, without the spiciness.
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