The Story Behind The Mimi

Los Angeles-based photographer, DJ, and entrepreneur Leslie Kirchhoff shows cocktail enthusiasts how ice cubes can take center stage in her book "Disco Cube Cocktails." Featuring more than 100 cocktail recipes, Kirchhoff also offers tips on creating playlists and how to polish ice to make the perfect cube or sphere.

Kirchhoff recalls that, upon discovering she lived near a peppercorn tree, the tree became a source of inspiration for her cocktail creations. “The leaves quickly became my favorite garnish, adding a faint peppery scent and a tropical vibe,” she writes in "Disco Cube Cocktails."

The ingredient was used to full effect in The Mimi, a delicate and refreshing cocktail made with gin and fino sherry. The alcohol is shaken with ice, lemon juice, and a pink peppercorn and fennel-infused simple syrup, after which it is strained and poured into a glass laden with a polished cube filled with fennel fronds, pink peppercorns, and leaves from the tree itself.

Kirchhoff garnishes the drink with additional peppercorn leaves, which, even if you don’t have access to a tree of your own, can be easily purchased online.

Ingredients

  • Freshly ground pink peppercorns, for rimming the glass
  • 1 lemon wedge, for rimming the glass
  • 1 Pink Peppercorn Fennel Cube (recipe follows)
  • 1½ ounces gin
  • ½ ounce fino sherry
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce fennel peppercorn simple syrup*
  • Peppercorn tree leaves, for garnish
  • Fennel fronds and slices, for garnish
  • *FENNEL PEPPERCORN SIMPLE SYRUP INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
  • FENNEL PEPPERCORN SIMPLE SYRUP DIRECTIONS:
  • In a small saucepan over high heat, combine the sugar, fennel, pink peppercorns, and 1 cup of water.
  • Heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Cover and let steep at room temperature for at least 1 hour, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a lidded jar or bottle.

Directions

  1. Pour enough ground peppercorns into a shallow dish to rim a glass.
  2. Wet the rim of a double Old Fashioned glass with the lemon wedge and dip the rim into the peppercorns. Shake off any excess.
  3. Place the Pink Peppercorn Fennel Cube in the glass to temper.
  4. In a cocktail shaker filled with plain ice, combine the gin, sherry, lemon juice, and simple syrup.
  5. Cover and shake for 15 seconds.
  6. Double strain the drink into the glass over the cube.
  7. Garnish with peppercorn tree leaves and fennel fronds and slices.

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Pink Peppercorn Fennel Cubes Ingredients

  • (makes 4 cubes)
  • 4 fennel fronds
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Peppercorn tree leaves (optional)
  • 2-inch clear cube mold

Pink Peppercorn Fennel Cubes Directions

  1. Place 1 fennel frond in each compartment of the mold, then add pink peppercorns and leaves, if using.
  2. Fill the mold with water and freeze until solid, about 30 hours.
  3. Remove the cubes from the mold, polish them, and keep frozen until ready to use.
The Mimi Recipe