2. This is Kevin Denton. He’s the bar director at Alder in NYC, which means he’s really good at inventing creative cocktails.
When the restaurant started serving brunch, he created a trio of “stoplight” cocktails: the red one is a tomato-miso based Bloody Mary, the green one is a gin-spiked green juice, and this yellow cocktail is a not-so-sweet pineapple and yellow pepper juice spiked with spicy tequila. (Denton said he really thought the green juice thing would take off, but no one ordered it, which frankly made us feel better about the Current State of Brunch.) “I think people enjoy drinking tequila at brunch,” Denton says. “Since most of us going out to brunch are hungover and we’re going to start drinking anyway, I thought it would be fun to have options. I like that Bloody Marys are savory, so I wanted to make other savory drinks. The yellow pepper balances out the sweetness of the pineapple.”
For an all-out Alder brunch at home, serve your yellow light cocktail with chef Wylie Dufresne’s .
3. Here are all the ingredients you’ll need to make the Yellow Light cocktail.
Blanco tequila, jalapeño peppers, limes, pineapple, and yellow bell peppers.
4. And ideally you’ll use a vegetable juicer. Kevin recommended the Champion commercial juicer, but any juicer will work.
This one, no surprise, is awesome. Available here ($295).
Note: If you don’t have a vegetable juicer, get instructions for how to make this recipe with a blender and store-bought juice in the recipe at the bottom of this post.
5. Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape the seeds and white membrane into a small bowl
Ideally you will wear gloves for this part because the spicy seeds get on your hands and then if you touch your eyes later it’s no fun.
6. Add about six ounces of tequila to the bowl, then let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, until the tequila tastes spicy.
7. As soon as it’s spicy, strain it through a fine mesh strainer, then throw away the seeds and put the tequila in the fridge.
This is a super quick infusion. If you want to make more spicy tequila, adjust the ratio of peppers and let it sit longer to get the spiciness you want.
8. Cut the top off of both yellow peppers, scrape out and throw away the seeds and white membrane, then slice the pepper into thin strips.
9. Cut about an inch off the top and the bottom of the pineapple.
10. Cut the prickly skin off of the pineapple by slicing off strips, from top to bottom, and working your way all around.
Cut a little bit of the yellow flesh off, too, because some of the prickly bits are in there.
11. Cut the flesh into slices about 1-inch thick, from top to bottom. Then turn the pineapple 90 degrees and cut 1-inch slices the other way, so that you end up with long strips.
12. You probably didn’t realize that you were coring the pineapple while you sliced it, but you were! The strip in the very center of the pineapple is the core. Throw it away.
The core is hard, very fibrous, and not sweet. You don’t want it.
13. Now your peppers and pineapple are ready for juicing!
14. Assemble your juicer, then set up a liquid measuring cup or jar to catch the juice, and another to catch the pineapple pulp.
15. Feed the pineapple strips into the juicer, a few at a time.
16. A lot of pulp will come out, as well as juice. Save the pulp!
You’re about to learn a super cool trick.
17. Once all of the pineapple strips are juiced, pour the pulp back into the juicer and juice it AGAIN!
There’s so much juice in the fibrous pineapple that it’s impossible to get it all the first time. Awesome, right?
18. You should end up with about 2 cups of delicious, frothy pineapple juice.
Refrigerate it while you juice the yellow peppers and limes.
19. You don’t have to go crazy washing your juicer, but get all of the pineapple pulp out, and rinse the screen.
20. Now, juice the yellow peppers.
21. You’ll end up with deep yellow, slightly sweet juice.
Put it in the fridge.
22. Halve the limes, then use a citrus juicer or reamer to juice them.
23. Really great cocktails deserve really nice ice cubes. King cubes are big, so they chill your drink without watering it down.
You can get a king cube tray here.
24. Fill each rocks glass with a single king cube (or a few smaller cubes).
25. For every drink, mix 1.5 ounces pineapple juice, 1.5 ounces yellow pepper juice, 1.5 ounces tequila, and .5 ounces lime juice.
You can either make all four drinks separately, pouring everything right into the glass over ice and then mixing things together. Or, you can mix all four drinks at the same time, in a shaker or pitcher. Then, you’ll mix: 6 ounces pineapple juice, 6 ounces yellow pepper juice, 6 ounces tequila, and 2 ounces lime juice.
27. Yellow Light Cocktail
Makes 4 drinks, with leftover tequila and pineapple juice
Recipe by Kevin Denton
1 jalapeño pepper
6 ounces (1/2 cup) blanco tequila
1 medium pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into long strips about 1-inch thick
2 yellow peppers, cored and sliced into strips about 1-inch thick
2 limes, halved
Note: If you don’t have a vegetable juicer, you can use 2 cups of store-bought pineapple juice instead of the juice from a whole pineapple. Juice the peppers by removing the seeds, cutting them into pieces, then liquefying them in your blender with about 1/4 cup of water and straining the liquid through a small mesh strainer. It won’t be as delicious, but it’ll still taste good.
1. For the spicy tequila: Slice the jalapeños in half, lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape the seeds and the white membrane into a small mixing bowl. Discard the green flesh, or save it to use for something else. Pour the tequila over the seeds in the bowl, then let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes, until the tequila is spicy. Strain through a fine mesh strainer immediately, discard the seeds, and refrigerate the tequila while you make the juices.
2. Juice the pineapple according to your juicer’s directions. Then, take the pulp and juice it a second time, into the same container that the rest of the juice is in. (The pulp will still have a lot of juice after just one time through the juicer, which is why you should run it through a second time.) Put the finished juice in the refrigerator, throw away the pulp, and rinse your juicer.
3. Juice the yellow pepper according to your juicer’s directions.
4. Using a hand juicer or reamer, juice the two limes.
5. To assemble the cocktail: Fill four rocks glasses with a few ice cubes (or put one large king cube in each). In a large shaker or jar, combine 6 ounces of tequila, 6 ounces pineapple juice, 6 ounces yellow pepper juice, and 2 ounces lime juice. Stir everything together, then divide the cocktail between the four glasses, pouring it over the ice. Serve immediately.