Satan’s Circus

satan's circus cocktail

I firmly believe that a historic storm is a perfect opportunity to huddle indoors and work on new cocktail recipes. Satan’s Circus, a drink I tried at NoMad last week, has a dynamite combination of sour cherry and hot peppers, and really hit a rare sweet/tart/spicy trifecta. The drink takes its name from a nickname for the Tenderloin, an old red-light district in Manhattan that’s roughly where Chelsea and the garment district are today. Picking the right name for a cocktail is a skill I’d adequate with naming a band.


The ingredients call for rye whiskey, lemon, aperol, cherry heering, and Thai bird chili peppers. I procured the cherry heering, which I can see adding complexity to many drinks (it’s weird, as a kid I hated anything sour but now I’m crazy about sour cherries). The peppers were a bit more difficult to find since the supermarkets had closed due to Winter Storm Jonas. I was stuck with some random bodega peppers helpfully labeled “long peppers.” Fortunately, the mystery long peppers had the desired effect.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit:

2 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
1/2 oz cherry heering
3/4 oz chili-infused aperol (Soak Thai bird chilies in aperol for approx 10 min. Take the usual precautions when handling hot chili peppers!)
Shake with ice for 30 seconds

Now I just need to get that Weezer jam out of my head…