Israelis like their wines, and are particularly proud of the now wide-ranging selection of Sabra boutique wineries throughout the land. But beers and cocktails are also finding their place at the bar, and, as expected, with that certain local twist. Which is where the two Ys, Yaron Kanor and Yonatan Hephner, enter the picture.
Based in Ramat Hasharon, they call their company Y&Y Spirits Ltd., and first concocted a fiery liqueur known as Y Chilli Liqueur. The Ys wanted to work with the spiciness of the chili pepper and created a drink made with 40% alcohol, chili peppers and the subtle scent of cinnamon, as well as a whole red chili dropped into each bottle. Indeed, drinkers dare each other to eat the alcohol-soaked pepper at the bottom of the bottle.
Chilli is hot, spicy and surprisingly refreshing. It’s won many admirers, including one Ha’aretz newspaper reviewer who recommends it as a great non-hametz alcohol for Passover that “burns the palate and the frightening memory of gefilte fish.”
Y&Y recently came out with another palate titillating offering, Y Green Chilli Liqueur, an anise-flavored version that some drinkers consider the weaker version of the original Chilli. Whatever your pleasure, here are two thoroughly enjoyable cocktails involving the Y liqueurs. Or just drink them straight up, but preferably chilled.
Green Diablo (courtesy of bartender Yonatan Ben Zur, Mia Bar)
One measure Y-Green
Half measure Cinzano Limetto
Half measure Midori or melon liqueur
Crush mint leaves on the bottom of the glass. Add a dash of Angostura bitters and crushed ice. Pour in Y-Green, Cinzano Limetto, Midori or melon liqueur. Add a dash of lemon juice. Shake and pour.
Fresh Chilli (courtesy of Y&Y)
30 ml. Y Chilli
20 ml. Pastis
Shake all ingredients with ice, pour into a glass.
Y Chilli and Y-Green are available in Israeli wine stores and select food emporiums, as well as at the duty-free shops in Ben Gurion International Airport.
Mia Bar, 18 Hillel Street, Jerusalem