Peppertini Cocktail Recipe

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Peppertini Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Peppertini is a modern twist on the classic martini, incorporating the bold flavor of pepper vodka. It's a cocktail that appeals to those who enjoy a spicy kick in their drink.

  • Origins
    • The exact origins are unclear, but it likely evolved from the classic martini as bartenders experimented with flavored vodkas.
  • Popularity
    • It gained traction in the early 2000s when infused vodkas became trendy.
  • Target Audience
    • Perfect for adventurous drinkers who aren't afraid of a little heat.

How Peppertini Tastes?

The Peppertini has a bold, spicy taste with a crisp, dry finish. The pepper vodka provides a warming sensation, while the dry vermouth balances it with a subtle herbal complexity.

Interesting facts about Peppertini

  • The Peppertini often serves as a conversation starter due to its unique spicy twist.
  • Pepper vodka can be homemade by infusing vodka with fresh peppers.
  • This cocktail is sometimes garnished with a small chili pepper to emphasize its fiery nature.


  • Pepper vodka: 1.5 oz(45ml)
  • Dry vermouth: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Ice cubes: As needed
  • Lemon twist: 1

A few good options for Peppertini are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Pepper Vodka

  • Why: Infused with spicy flavor, pepper vodka is the star and gives the Peppertini its distinctive kick.
  • Effects: Without it, you'd lose the spice-forward profile—a cardinal feature of the cocktail.
  • Alternatives: Consider chili-infused vodka for a different type of heat, or plain vodka for a milder drink.

Alex Green

Dry Vermouth

  • Why: It smoothens out the vodka's edges and adds herbal subtleties.
  • Effects: Too much can overpower the pepper, too little may leave the drink too harsh.
  • Alternatives: Substitute with Lillet Blanc for a touch of sweetness and a lighter floral note.

Emma Rose

Ice Cubes

  • Why: They chill the drink, allowing flavors to meld smoothly without waterlogging the spirit.
  • Effects: Without ice, the drink would be too warm, affecting the overall experience.
  • Alternatives: Frozen grapes can chill and add a hint of sweetness as they melt.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Twist

  • Why: The citrus oils add a fresh aromatic quality that contrasts with the peppery bite.
  • Effects: Without it, the cocktail may feel one-dimensional.
  • Alternatives: An orange twist can add a sweeter aroma, changing the cocktail's dynamic.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Peppertini Drink

  1. Chill the Glass
    • Place the martini glass in the freezer to chill.
  2. Mix Ingredients
    • In a mixing glass filled with ice, combine 1.5 oz of pepper vodka and 0.5 oz of dry vermouth.
  3. Stir Gently
    • Stir the mixture gently for about 30 seconds to chill without diluting too much.
  4. Strain
    • Strain the mixture into the chilled martini glass.
  5. Garnish
    • Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Infusion
    • For a more personalized touch, try infusing your own vodka with a blend of peppers.
  • Ice Quality
    • Use large, clear ice cubes to stir the drink, as they melt slower and reduce dilution.
  • Chill
    • Always serve in a chilled glass to maintain the crispness of the cocktail.

Perfect Pairings


  • Spicy Shrimp: The heat of the shrimp will echo the spicy notes of the pepper vodka.
  • Grilled Octopus: A charred, meaty appetizer that contrasts nicely with the crisp Peppertini.
  • Charcuterie: The saltiness of cured meats balances the Peppertini's sharpness.

Main Courses

  • Steak: The robust flavor of beef complements the bold pepper flavor.
  • Sushi: Particularly spicy rolls like those with jalapeño can parallel the cocktail's kick.


  • Roasted Nuts: Salty and crispy nuts are a classic with any martini variant.
  • Cheese Plate: Opt for bold cheeses, like Gorgonzola, to stand up against the cocktail.

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What you could change in Peppertini

  • Pepper Vodka
    • If you can't find pepper vodka, infuse plain vodka with fresh jalapeños or other peppers.
  • Dry Vermouth
    • In a pinch, dry sherry can be a suitable substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Peppertini

  • Add a dash of smoked paprika to the pepper vodka for a smoky profile.
  • Use mezcal instead of pepper vodka for a deeper smokiness.
  • This twist brings a barbecue-like flavor that's great with grilled appetizers.

Sweet Heat Peppertini

  • Rim the glass with a mix of sugar and chili powder for a sweet and spicy edge.
  • Add a splash of simple syrup to balance the heat with sweetness.
  • Perfect for those who like a spicy kick but also have a sweet tooth.

Garden Fresh Peppertini

  • Muddle fresh basil leaves in the mixing glass before adding the other ingredients.
  • Strain over a large basil leaf in the glass for extra flavor and garnish.
  • This herbaceous twist is refreshing and goes well with a summer salad.

In case you forgot basics how to make Peppertini

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Peppertini

Can the Peppertini be made into a non-alcoholic version?

Yes, you can create a non-alcoholic version of the Peppertini by using non-alcoholic pepper-flavored spirit substitutes and a non-alcoholic vermouth alternative.

Is the Peppertini a good choice for someone who doesn't typically enjoy spicy foods?

The Peppertini is known for its spicy kick. If you're not a fan of spicy flavors, you may want to opt for a cocktail with a milder profile.

What type of glass should a Peppertini be served in?

A Peppertini is traditionally served in a martini glass, which allows the aroma of the drink to be fully appreciated.

How can I make my own pepper vodka for the Peppertini?

To make pepper vodka, infuse plain vodka with fresh peppers of your choice for several days, tasting periodically until the desired spiciness is reached.

What are some common garnishes for a Peppertini besides a lemon twist?

Aside from a lemon twist, a Peppertini can be garnished with a small chili pepper or a rim of salt and ground pepper to enhance its fiery profile.

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