Killer buzz.

Killer buzz. (Evan Siple, Baltimore Sun / May 22, 2014)

For more than a decade, Golden West Cafe has been slingin' Southwest cuisine to the denizens of Hampden and beyond, in addition to live music, comedy shows and a solid bar in the back.

Primarily a whiskey bar, Golden West's cocktail list displayed on a regularly changing rotation always showcases the brown stuff, and more often than not with a Southwest twist. Bartender Charlie Long and company are ready to debut a new set of whiskey based cocktails, one of the punchiest of the lot being the Killer Bee.

Despite the ominous sounding name, the Killer Bee is designed to be "a bit lighter for the spring and summer," according to Long. With a base of Bulleit rye and whipped up with a healthy dose of honey, lemon juice, ginger beer and bitters, the flavor is exceptionally smooth and sweet. But to achieve the all important "Golden West Stamp with some spice," as Long put it, the coup de gras is two freshly cut and muddled jalapeno slices lurking at the bottom of the cocktail. Spicy indeed.

The added heat from the jalapeno kicks like a mule on the back end, taking the mellow sweetness of the base profile and stinging it into anaphylactic overdrive. First the sweet, then the heat. Like a killer bee, right? Isn't that how bees work?

Either way, the flavors deftly meld together into a final product worthy of your taste buds, whether you're a whiskey fan or not. If you can't handle the heat, pass on the jalapeno, but I still highly recommend it. Good show, Golden West, and I'm not referring to that Idle Gossip show last month. But that was pretty good, too.

How to make the Killer Bee

11/2 oz. Bulleit rye

1/2 oz. lemon juice

1/2 oz. honey

Ginger beer

Angostura bitters

2 slices jalapeno

Muddle the jalapeno slices in shaker, combine Bulleit, lemon juice and honey and shake over ice. Strain over ice, top with ginger beer and a dash of bitters.

Where to get the Killer Bee

Golden West Cafe

1105 W. 36th St, Hampden

410-889-8891

goldenwestcafe.com

$7.50