It’s time to step out of your comfort zone and try a spicy cocktail with your next brunch feast or happy hour get-together. Consider this drink as “adding a little bit of chile to your libation.”

The perfect blend of spicy and sweet, this cocktail was created by the Katsuya Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles. The Burning Mandarin is a beautiful cocktail that’ll knock your socks off with a combination of mandarin vodka, lemon juice, cranberry juice, orange juice, and simple syrup.

Quite possibly the best martini ever that you can still make at home. The first sip is an intriguing combination of bright citrus followed by a slow burn.

That delightful singe is brought to you by the Serrano chiles that are muddled in the bottom of the cocktail shaker. The Burning Mandarin Martini isn’t too hot, but has just enough heat to make it interesting. This is a sophisticated cocktail and is sure to impress.

If you’re new to cocktail making, here’s a quick video on how to muddle. The recipe calls for lightly muddling a Serrano slice at the bottom of your cocktail shaker


The Burning Mandarin Martini

Servings 1


  • 2 thin slices fresh serrano pepper
  • 1 1/2 ounces Absolute Mandarin vodka
  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 orange wedge


  1. Place 1 slice Serrano pepper into a cocktail shaker and mash lightly with a muddler. Add vodka, lemon and orange juices, simple syrup and cranberry juice.
  2. Fill shaker with ice. Place a mixing glass over the cocktail shaker, hold together firmly and shake back and forth 10 times.
  3. Run the orange wedge around the rim of a rocks glass and dip the glass into the sugar. Strain the cocktail into the sugar-lined martini glass. Coat the remaining slice of Serrano with the remaining sugar; float on the liquid as a garnish.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from Katsuya Japanese restaurant in Los Angeles.

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