There are custom cars and custom suits, and then there are custom cocktails. For my birthday, cocktail specialist George Austin created the Xanga—“a combination of IX, Xania and mango.”
Bottled at 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume), the new Belvedere IX vodka (pronounced “one ex”) is distilled with nine botanicals including sweet almond, eucalyptus, jasmine and cinnamon leaf—only the lack of juniper prevents this from becoming Belvedere Gin. To create the Xanga, George says he played off the pairing of the botanicals and the Açai and the natural harmony found between the mango and black pepper.
2 oz. Belvedere IX
0.5 oz. VeeV Açai Spirit
1 oz. mango syrup
0.5 oz. lime juice
0.25 oz. black peppercorn tincture
0.25 oz. desert pear syrup
2 oz. soda water
Combine the first five ingredients, shake and strain into a rocks glass. Top with soda and drizzle with the pear syrup.