A new cocktail on the menu at James uses seasonal homemade jams and marmalades mixed with a choice of gin or vodka ($10; the house gin is Gordon’s and the house vodka is Smirnoff). The seasonal jams for spring are lemon-chili, rhubarb-coriander and berry-vanilla. I was instantly smitten with the rhubarb-coriander and gin (front drink in photo). But after a taste of my friend’s lemon-chili and vodka (back drink in photo), I was on fire. Head bartender Kevin Buckley says that he’s a huge fan of drinks with some heat, hence the lemon-chili pairing. The tartness of the Meyer lemon juice, the bitterness of the rind and the heat of the bird’s-eye chili powder are a match of equals. Add a little vodka and we’re in business. If you love a powerful drink, this is it, but you’ve got to be able to take the heat.
Recipes for both the marmalade and the cocktail are available in the recipe boxes to the right.