Smoke & Mirrors

There’s a lovely little restaurant in Spokane called Wild Sage that Mr. Redheaded Herbalist and I like to visit on special occasions.

You can tell that the chef is a true foodie. Literally everything they serve is delicious, creative and beautiful. I mean, seriously y’all, they infuse their butter with honey and lavender 

Among their many excellent offerings, they serve an unusual spicy cocktail called a Smoke & Mirrors that we can’t get enough of.

It’s a spicy, savory beverage that Bloody Mary fans will appreciate, though it is lighter, a bit sweeter and more citrusy than a Bloody Mary.

At Mr. RH’s urging, I took a stab at reverse engineering the recipe and, based off of the menu’s description of roasted red pepper puree, Absolut Peppar vodka, mezcal, jalapeño honey syrup and lime, I think I came up with a passable copycat. 

It’s been a big hit at dinner parties! 

A couple of notes

Per the Wild Sage menu, I’ve made this with Absolut Peppar in the past, but I find that my fermented jalapeño hot honey gives the cocktail more and enough of a kick that regular ol’ Tito’s (or your favorite plain vodka) does the trick.

You can choose to roast your own red bell peppers under the broiler or simply puree a jar of roasted red peppers (drained) from the store. I’ve done it both ways and they both work just fine.

(Leftover red pepper puree freezes nicely!)

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Smoke & Mirrors

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Serves 2



1 oz roasted red pepper puree

2 oz vodka

3/4 oz mezcal

2 1/2 oz water

1 oz fermented jalapeño hot honey

1 1/2 oz of lime juice


2 slices of fresh jalapeño (one per glass)

Pinch of fresh cracked black pepper


To make the roasted red pepper puree, simply blend a jar of (drained) roasted red peppers in a blender until smooth. You can also blacken fresh red bell peppers yourself under the broiler and puree with just enough water to get them moving in the blender.

Combine all ingredients (except jalapeño slices and black pepper) in a shaker filled with ice. Agitate until condensation forms on outside of shaker.

Serve in a martini glass, garnished with a pinch of black pepper and a jalapeño slice.


If you don’t have any fermented jalapeño hot honey handy, you can also make a quick jalapeño syrup by combining 1/2 cup of honey and 1/2 cup of  hot water, infused with jalapeño. Steep 1 sliced/chopped jalapeño in boiling water for about 1 hour. Strain, stir in honey and chill before using. If you use syrup instead of hot honey, I would recommend using Absolut Peppar instead of plain vodka.


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