Recipe Details

A simple syrup with the contrasting flavors of bold black pepper and naturally sweet Medjool dates is used to flavor this refreshing dark rum cocktail. 

This recipe was developed for the Flavor Forecast: Looking Back to Look Forward.

Black Pepper Date Simple Syrup

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat combine dates, water, brown sugar, black pepper and rosemary. Bring to a simmer, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Strain through fine mesh sieve, ensuring not to press pulp solids through. Return to saucepan.
  2. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and a small amount of syrup. Mix well and whisk into saucepan with syrup. Bring to a simmer, cooking until thickened. Remove from heat and cool. Hold refrigerated for service.


  1. For each serving, in a shaker combine 2 tablespoons black pepper syrup, 1 ounce dark rum, 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur and 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice. Top with idea and shake for 30 seconds.
  2. Strain and pour into desired glass. Garnish with rosemary spring.


Leftover Black Pepper Date Simple Syrup can be used to prepare additional Black Pepper Date Cocktails or other cocktails using caramel-colored distilled spirits, such as rum, bourbon, whiskey, and scotch.