Szechuan Gordon's Cup


1 oz Szechuan peppercorn simple syrup

3 oz good quality gin

1/2 cucumber

1 lime


fresh cracked black pepper

Kosher salt

reserved Szechuan powder


1 cup sugar

1 cup water

3 tbsp fresh ground Szechuan peppers

note: husks only redder peppercorns are better w/ black seeds removed. Please, keep in mind the quality of this product may vary depending on brand



cocktail shaker

mortar and pestle.


Let's begin with the simple syrup:

  1. Warm Szechuan peppercorns over low heat until fragrant to awaken the spice.

  2. Transfer to mortar and pestle.

  3. Grind the Szechuan peppercorns to a powder.

  4. Transfer to wire strainer and sift.

  5. The residual white shells should be discarded.

  6. Dissolve sugar in water on low heat until lightly thickened.

  7. Incorporate 2/3 of the Szechuan peppercorns powder to the water and sugar mixture and set aside.

For the cocktail:

  1. Muddle cucumber and lime in cocktail shaker.

  2. Pour gin, ice, and simple syrup over cucumber and lime mixture.

  3. Shake vigorously until well frosted.

  4. Pour into a lowball glass over ice.

  5. Top with a pinch of Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and pinch of reserved Szechuan powder.

  6. Garnish with cucumber and lime.


The Gordon's Cup is a recipe from the late Sasha Petraske, mentor to Madrusan. Madrusan hallmarks the Gordon's Cup in his book A Spot at the Bar. The cocktail is traditionally made with cucumber, lime and gin with defining feature of salt and pepper. In our twist we deviate slightly giving an unexpected hint of lemon coupled with the light numbing sensation from the Szechuan peppercorns. The peppercorns elevate the experience while maintaining the integrity of the Gordon's Cup. This cocktail is perfect for brunch.

photo credit - Owie

"I exercise strong self-control. I never drink anything stronger than gin before breakfast."
W.C. Fields

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