So how was it? Straight up, the flavor is on the sweet side (as is regular SoCo), and reminded me of Red-Hot candies, but it has a familar, vinegary Tabasco twang on the finish. I suspect this one will find a broad spectrum of drinkers. It’s not very spicy, it has just a hint of naughty sizzle, which nearly disappears when mixed into drinks.
It went down particularly easy mixed in the “Burnt Lemon” cocktail: SoCo Pepper, turbinado sugar, and homemade lemonade, garnished with a candied lemon peel.
For me, the big surprise of the evening wasn’t the spirit — but rather, the discovery that Neely’s has a cigar cellar, which was dark and refreshingly chill after the crush of BBQ-hungry hordes upstairs. If I didn’t have dinner plans afterwards, I might have lingered to try the cigar-and-SoCo Pepper pairing offered.
I have to call out the soundtrack for the evening, too: “Hot and Cold” by Katy Perry; “Burning Down the House” by The Talking Heads. “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer. Whoever put together the playlist sure had a lot of fun, and I stuck around for an extra drink just to see what song would come up next.