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The Allure of Donna's Scarlet Fever

scarletfever_donna.jpgJeremy Oertel is smitten with spicy cocktails, but most of the pepper-spiked concoctions the barman has encountered are of the tequila and mezcal variety. At Donna, the elegant, white-walled South Williamsburg bar (and winner of a 2012 PAPER Nightlife Award) where Oertel presides over the Central American-inspired drink menu, he turned to rum to sate his fiery predilections. El Dorado 5-year-old rum may be the star of Oertel's Scarlet Fever libation, but its alluring finish comes courtesy of the already subtly smoky Trinidadian Scarlet Ibis rum, heightened by an infusion of ancho chilies. "The idea was to make a rich sort of Daiquiri, with a little heat," explains Oertel. "It's still simple -- and actually not that difficult to make -- but it's unusual and catches most people by surprise." The presence of uplifting pineapple and lime juices, as well as cinnamon syrup, lends the drink bright Tiki-style notes rather than unwelcome sweetness. After last week's brutal brush with the cold, it's a stellar faux tropical reprieve.

Scarlet Fever

1 ½ oz. El Dorado 5-year-old rum

½ oz. Ancho chile-infused Scarlet Ibis Rum

½ oz. lime juice

½ oz. pineapple juice

½ oz. cinnamon syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker, then shake and strain into a cocktail glass.

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