This syrup adds another dimension to the martini, but would liven up anything it’s used in. Its complex layers of flavor prove that pepper is worthy of more than just a few turns of the grinder.

What to buy: We made this syrup with the standard black peppercorns, known as Tellicherry, but you could seek out more exotic peppers and riff as you please.

Game plan: The spiciness will vary depending on how finely the peppercorns are cracked—finer will give you more heat, coarser will be more tame. This syrup will last up to 1 month when refrigerated in an airtight container.

  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Total: Under 5 mins
  • Active: Under 5 mins

Ingredients (4)

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to bring mixture to a simmer; cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  3. Strain the cooled syrup and refrigerate it in a container with a tightfitting lid.