Friday, June 29, 2018

Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency and Spicy Old Fashioned

Susan Breen is the author of the Maggie Dove series, published by the Alibi imprint of Penguin Random House. Maggie Dove has also made an appearance in a short story in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine. Susan teaches novel writing for Gotham Writers in Manhattan and lives with her husband in a lovely village on the Hudson River. She's here today to match a drink with book two in her series.

The protagonist of my Maggie Dove mystery series is a 62-year-old Sunday School teacher. So, when I began thinking about her alcoholic drink of choice, the words Old Fashioned immediately jumped to mind. However, although she might be a tad straight-laced, there’s nothing sugary about Maggie Dove. In fact, in the second book of the series, Maggie Dove’s Detective Agency, Maggie chases down a coven of witches, embarks in hand-to-hand combat, and, perhaps most impressively, manages to win an argument with her domineering best friend. So, with all that in mind, I went down to one of my favorite restaurants, The Red Hat, which is alongside the Hudson River, and asked them to come up with a spicy version of an Old Fashioned. And this recipe is, more or less, what they did.

Spicy Old Fashioned
1 ½ ounce Rye
1 ½ ounce Bourbon
1 slice Orange
1 or 2 Jalapeno pepper slices
3 dashes Angostura Bitters
1 teaspoon of Spicy Jalapeno Simple Syrup* (Recipe below)

Stir ingredients together. Shake briefly. Pour onto ice.

*Recipe for Jalapeno Simple Syrup
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, washed and stemmed

Put sugar and water in a saucepan. Cook at medium heat, stirring constantly until sugar is dissolved. Slice jalapeno and add to pan. Boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and let it steep for 20 minutes. Put through a strainer to remove all the pepper.
Then put the syrup in a sealed glass container and store in the refrigerator.

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  1. I love that Maggie is 62, I bet she has spunk. And what a great twist on a classic cocktail. Well done!

  2. Thank you for a great post, Susan. I look forward to reading your book with the Spicy Old Fashioned.