Spicy Fifty Cocktail Recipe

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Spicy Fifty 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 Spicy Fifty cocktail was created by renowned bartender Salvatore Calabrese, who is known for his innovative and unique cocktail creations. This cocktail is a perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors, making it a favorite among those who enjoy a little kick in their drinks. The Spicy Fifty has gained popularity in recent years and can now be found in many high-end bars around the world.

How Spicy Fifty Tastes?

The Spicy Fifty is a well-balanced cocktail with a combination of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors. The sweetness from the vanilla vodka and elderflower liqueur is perfectly complemented by the sourness of the lime juice and the heat from the chili pepper.

Interesting facts about Spicy Fifty

  • The Spicy Fifty was created by Salvatore Calabrese, a world-renowned bartender known for his innovative cocktails.
  • This cocktail is a perfect blend of sweet, sour, and spicy flavors, making it a favorite among those who enjoy a little kick in their drinks.
  • The Spicy Fifty has gained popularity in recent years and can now be found in many high-end bars around the world.


A few good options for Spicy Fifty are:

  • Grey Goose
  • Belvedere
  • Khor
  • Smirnoff

Learn everything on which Vodka to choose

Vanilla Vodka

  • Why 50ml? This is the cocktail's base spirit, and 50ml is a standard shot ensuring the vanilla flavor doesn't overpower. Less vanilla vodka, and you might ask, 'Vanilla who?' More, and the cocktail becomes a dessert!
  • No Vanilla Vodka? Miss it and you lose the cocktail’s soul, but if you must, use plain vodka and a drop of vanilla extract for a similar profile.

Alex Green

Elderflower Liqueur

  • Why 15ml? Just enough to whisper sweet nothings to your taste buds without shouting. It’s like that intriguing person at a party who doesn’t need to be loud to be noticed.
  • No Elderflower Liqueur? The drink loses its floral elegance—maybe try a splash of pear or peach liqueur to at least keep the charm going.

Mary Mitkina

Fresh Lime Juice

  • Why 20ml? It’s the zesty zing needed for balance. Any less and the drink could get too sweet; any more and it could turn into a sour puss.
  • No Lime Juice? Well, that’s like a day without sunshine. But in a pinch, lemon juice can fill in, just expect a sharper, less tropical acidity.

Emma Rose

Honey Syrup

  • Why 10ml? It’s the sweet bridge between spicy and tart. Too much honey and the cocktail becomes clingy; too little, and it feels incomplete.
  • No Honey Syrup? The cocktail could end up less cozy. If you are out of honey, simple syrup could work—it’s just not as huggable.

Alex Green

Red Chili Pepper

  • Why Just 1? We want a flirt with heat, not a brawl. It's just enough to raise your eyebrows, not make you sweat bullets.
  • No Red Chili Pepper? By leaving it out, you miss out on the 'spicy' in Spicy Fifty. For a milder kick, a pinch of chili flakes might do the trick without the full commitment.

Mary Mitkina

Garnish: Red Chili Pepper

  • Why Garnish? It’s the red flag that says 'watch out – I've got a kick!' It’s also about the aesthetics; your eyes eat first after all!

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Spicy Fifty Drink

  1. In a cocktail shaker, muddle the red chili pepper.
  2. Add the vanilla vodka, elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice, and honey syrup.
  3. Fill the shaker with ice and shake well.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass.
  5. Garnish with a red chili pepper.

Pro Tips

  • Muddle the chili pepper well to extract maximum flavor.
  • Use fresh lime juice for a better taste.
  • Shake well to ensure all ingredients are well mixed.

Perfect Pairings


  • Ceviche: The citrus notes pair well with the fresh lime juice, and the spicy kick from the red chili pepper complements the heat in many ceviche variations.
  • Sushi Rolls (especially spicy tuna): The vanilla and elderflower provide a sweet balance to the savory umami flavors, while the cocktail’s spice enhances the kick of spicy sushi rolls.


  • Lemon Sorbet: Its tartness will be a refreshing counterbalance to the Spicy Fifty’s sweet and spicy profile.
  • Vanilla and Chili Chocolate: The heat from the cocktail’s chili and the chocolate echo each other, while the vanilla in both the vodka and the chocolate brings unity to the pairing.


  • Iced Green Tea: To balance the cocktail's heat, a cool, slightly bitter iced tea can cleanse the palate between sips.

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What you could change in Spicy Fifty

  • Vanilla Vodka: Can be replaced with regular vodka and a dash of vanilla extract.
  • Elderflower Liqueur: Can be substituted with St. Germain.
  • Red Chili Pepper: Can be replaced with jalapeno for a different kind of heat.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Twist #1: Honeyed Ginger Fifty

  • Ingredients: Substitute regular honey syrup with a homemade ginger-honey syrup.
  • Recipe: Same as the Spicy Fifty, but the ginger adds a warming, aromatic tone that will get your senses buzzing—like a bee that’s found the perfect flower.
  • Taste: Expect the flavor to be a tad more 'hug in a mug' with a ginger kick backing up our chili friend for a more layered heat.

Twist #2: Citrus Blast Fifty

  • Ingredients: Add a zest of grapefruit and switch the honey syrup for agave.
  • Recipe: Alongside the original ingredients, the grapefruit zest is muddled with the chili, and agave replaces honey syrup.
  • Taste: This version throws a citrus party in your mouth, and the agave plays the smooth host. The grapefruit adds bitterness to the heat, resulting in a refreshing and zippy experience.

Twist #3: Berry Spicy Fifty

  • Ingredients: Add 5 fresh raspberries to the mix.
  • Recipe: Muddle the raspberries with the chili pepper before adding the other ingredients. Shake as usual.
  • Taste: The raspberries give a tart sweetness that complements the subtle vanilla and gives the cocktail a berry spicy twist! It's jam-packed with flavor, literally.

In case you forgot basics how to make Spicy Fifty

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

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

The key to proper muddling is to crush the ingredients just enough to release their flavors and not overdo it. Over-muddling can result in a bitter taste, especially with herbs.

Learn everything on how to muddle

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 Spicy Fifty

Can I make the Spicy Fifty without alcohol?

Yes, you could omit the alcoholic ingredients, but bear in mind it will alter the intended taste significantly.

What types of meals pair well with the Spicy Fifty?

This cocktail pairs well with spicy foods, starters, or refreshing light salads.

Can I prepare a batch of Spicy Fifty in advance?

It's best prepared fresh. However if necessary, you can prepare the mixture (without ice) in advance and shake it with ice just before serving.

Can I substitute the honey syrup?

Yes, you can substitute honey syrup with a simple syrup, but it will alter the flavor.

Is the Spicy Fifty suitable for vegetarians?

Yes, it does not contain any animal product.

How spicy is the Spicy Fifty cocktail?

The heat level can vary depending on the spice level of the pepper used. You can adjust the spiciness to your liking.

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