I am don’t have much of a sweet tooth. In fact I have decided when I get married I don’t want a big, fancy cake filled with over the top sugary frosting. I just want an incredible selection of wine, scotch and tequila for people to choose from. I don’t dance unless I have had at least one drink, and I am sure I am not the only one, with any luck everyone will be dancing.

I feel the same about my cocktails. Making a base cocktail, with the option of a garnish to make the cocktail sweeter, guarantees everyone is always happy. I placed two of the Strawberry-Black Pepper garnishes in each drink but left extras on the bar in a glass so people had the option of making their Corazonsito a little sweeter.

  • 2 oz Don Julio Reposado
  • 1 oz Aperol
  • 3/4 fresh squeezed red grapefruit juice
  • Strawberry-Black Pepper garnish

Add all ingredients except garnish into a shaker with ice. Shake well. Fine strain into a chilled Riedel Ouverture glass. Place two Strawberry-Black Pepper garnish’s inside of the glass with a grapefruit twist. Enjoy.

Strawberry-Black Pepper Garnish

  • one pound fresh strawberriesP1140496edited
  • half a pound fresh raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom

Pre-heat convection over to 225 degrees.  Blend strawberries and raspberries until very smooth. Line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper. Pour puree onto cookie sheets and spread evenly with a spatula. Grind pepper and cardamom evenly over the puree. Place the trays in the oven and let cook for an hour. Remove baking sheets. Using scissors cut one-fourth inch by five-inch strips. Roll strips over a chopstick and put them back into the oven for twenty more minutes. Remove the trays from the oven. Let cool completely.


I recently served Corazonsito’s at a cocktail party. I needed something a little more bold, for the men in my life so I embellished a classic Tanqueray and Tonic. Try the same garnish recipe but leave out the spices then replace the berries with kiwi’s and lime. Cut the garnish into a rounds that will fit into the bottom of a rocks glass. Place the round in the bottom of  the glass. Then make a classic Tanqueray and Tonic. Kiwi T & T’s? Absolute bliss.