White Pepper Grape Cocktail

February 1, 2023

white pepper grape cocktail

A good cocktail recipe becomes a mocktail recipe when you remove the alcohol and add something refreshing like fizzy water. Readers of River City Good Eats notice alcohol- free variations in my cocktail recipes. Today’s White Pepper Grape Cocktail is no different. Flexibility is key in gracious entertaining, I say.

The flavor base of this bright beverage is a white peppercorn simple syrup. It keeps for weeks. Add it to cocktails, iced tea, flavored and plain seltzers. Uniquely, consider drizzling over ice cream. Possibilities are endless.

ingredients for white pepper grape cocktail

Blood Orange Black Pepper Cocktail suggests smashing the peppercorns with the bottom of a skillet. My new favorite method for partially cracking the white peppercorns is with a sturdy mortar and pestle. Significantly, your simple syrup will be less cloudy by keeping the peppercorns in larger pieces. Flavor, however, still shines through.

White pepper is more earthy, while the unripened berries ¬†(black pepper) deliver more heat. For this reason, I recommend steeping the cracked white pepper in the syrup up to two weeks before straining. In this manner, you’ll get more tingly spicy heat. This is subtle back of the tongue heat, not unbearably burning heat, for those who avoid hot spice. This article describes the pepper differences.

Easy entertaining is always best. Keep your ingredients well chilled. Serve this cocktail or mocktail over ice if you prefer. Cocktail shakers or clean jars filled with ice are my preferred tools. Cheers!

white pepper grape cocktail

White Pepper Grape Cocktail

recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company

make ahead note : white pepper simple syrup flavor develops best if aged


for white peppercorn simple syrup
one cup sugar
one cup water
2 heaping tablespoons whole white peppercorns

for one cocktail
two ounces gin
3 ounces white grape juice
optional garnish : black or red grapes on cocktail spears

for mocktail
plain or flavored seltzer water


  1. Use mortar and pestle to coarsely crack peppercorns; alternately, use bottom of heavy skillet to crack them on sturdy chopping block; keep peppercorns in large pieces to avoid cloudy syrup.
  2. Combine sugar and water in heavy small saucepan over high heat, stirring, until mixture comes to boil.
  3. Simmer one minute, stir in  cracked peppercorns and cool to room temperature.
  4. Chill syrup in glass or stainless steel container at least one week; two weeks is recommended for optimal flavor.
  5. Strain syrup and store in the fridge for weeks, using clean spoons to remove portions.
  6. Make sure gin, grape juice and seltzer are well chilled.
  7. For cocktail, shake gin, juice and 1 tablespoon white peppercorn syrup with ice and strain into glass.
  8. For mocktail, combine grape juice and 1 tablespoon pepper syrup over ice, topping with seltzer.
  9. Garnish if desired with grapes on cocktail spears.


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4 thoughts on “White Pepper Grape Cocktail

    1. Michele Humlan Post author

      Hi, George- sorry my directions are not clear but in the numbered directions I suggest one tablespoon syrup per beverage. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy!


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