The Flaming P at Pitfire Pizza, Our Drink of the Week!

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Dave Lieberman
Apparently there's a speakeasy in the back of the newly opened Pitfire Pizza in Costa Mesa, but you have to look in order to find it. I didn't know that, though, and I read the menu of cocktails available at the minuscule, no-seating bar up front. Then I looked at the garnish tray, which had mint, dried cherries, rosemary "trees", ruby red grapefruit wedges, and chile peppers, and briefly debated just having water.

I needn't have worried; the jalapeños and grapefruit were destined for the Flaming P, a take on a paloma, the most popular tequila cocktail in Mexico. Camarena tequila reposado (a 100% de agave tequila that's one of the best bargains on the shelf), grapefruit soda, jalapeño-infused honey, and mint are shaken and served on the rocks with the aforementioned garnish.

It's a slow drink, because the jalapeño is pretty dominant; it reminds me of a brighter, fresher version of the infused tequila I make at home by stuffing a chile chilhuacle into a fifth of tequila reposado. The honey is necessary to take some of the acrid edge off the chile, and the mint ties it together.

After I finished the drink, incidentally, I found the speakeasy; it's way past the bathrooms, with a fully stocked bar and a normal-looking garnish tray--stand by for further drinks to come from this spot.

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