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Kitchen 56

Spice up your cocktail with gourmet eats

Chef Peter McQuaid's Salted Caramel Pop Corn

Chef Peter McQuaid's Salted Caramel Pop Corn


When I first learned about the #SAVETHENIGHT initiative and was inspired by Live Music and Save Our Stages, my mind immediately went straight to food that everyone loves that reminisces a great night and live venues. POPCORN! To me, popcorn truly represents fun and a time of letting loose and having a lifetime experience. Popcorn is loved by almost everyone and is great in so many settings, but most prominently, I think of it when going to live performances and music festivals; there isn't a venue around where you won't find popcorn. Not to mention it's a Chef's favorite snack! When thinking of how to elevate a favorite food that is such a staple, I can't think of a better way than boozing it up with my favorite liqueur. Plus, who doesn't love some “POP”?!

Scroll Down for Chef's Recipe and Cocktail Paired By Nate Laird!

Chef Peter McQuaid's

Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee Salted Caramel “POP”Corn

Chef McQuaids Salted Caramel PopCorn

Nate Laird's Cocktail Pairing


Hootennanny cocktail

Nate's Cocktail Inspiration


Peter came up with such an awesome dish inspired by the simplicity of ingredients that you could find at any venue. I wanted to follow suit with an equally simple cocktail with a southern twist. Inspired by the “Farmer’s coke,” as it's often called in the south. A tradition started by blue-collar workers of taking salted peanuts they typically ate on break and adding them directly into a bottle of coke. Bringing a great salinity to a typically sweet syrupy beverage as well as a crunchy sweet snack after. It was also thought to be so that they wouldn’t have to pour their peanuts into their hands which were dirty from all their labor. So riffing off of that and the most called for venue drink outside of beer, the “Whiskey and coke,” I decided to make a quick version of this at home where you already have the peanuts infused into some Jägermeister cold brew for a quickfire way to get the same effect. This cocktail is straightforward to make and has a great balance from the salinity of the peanuts, the robust notes from the Jägermeister cold brew, and the sweet caramel flavors from the Mexican coke rounding it all out. Not to mention the strained peanuts from the infusion can be added to the caramel when you make Peter’s POP Corn for a nice little kick! Take a look at the tips and tricks section for a few alternative hacks for this drink as well.


  • 1 Part Peanut Infused Jägermeister Cold Brew Coffee**
  • ½ part Bourbon
  • 3-4 parts Mexican Coke

Glass: DOF

Garnish: Salted Peanuts

Method: Build in glass, Top with coke, stir to integrate, add salted peanuts to glass and enjoy!


Nate's Tips & Tricks:

Peanut Infused Jägermeister Cold Brew*

  • 1x 750ml Jager Cold Brew
  • 1 cup Roasted Salted Peanuts
  • Combine in a non-reactive container and allow to infuse overnight or up to 24hrs. Strain through a fine sieve and a coffee filter. Discard or save leftover peanuts.

Peter’s POP Corn Hack:

Save the leftover peanuts from the infusion and add to the caramel while cooking for an even boozier kick of JMCB infused candied nuts in your popcorn.

Venue Hack:

Want this drink at a venue, but obviously, they won’t have the infused JMCB? Sub a “Peanut Butter Flavored Whiskey” of your choice for the Bourbon and grab some salted peanuts from the stands!

Home Bar Hack:

Don’t want to deal with infusing? You could also make a Peanut orgeat if you just wanted to have a ready-to-go syrup to get a similar flavor profile.

Adapted from Beach Bum Berry’s Recipe:

  • 500 grams salted peanuts
  • 800 ml water
  • 700 grams granulated sugar, organic
  • 1-ounce vodka
  • 2 teaspoons orange flower water (start here and gradually add more to taste)
  1. Start by roasting the peanuts. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lay the peanuts out in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast them in the oven for 10-12 minutes until golden in color.
  2. Cool the nuts and place them in a bowl. Fill with water to just cover them. Soak them for 30 minutes. Drain, place them in a freezer or Lewis bag, and crush them with a meat tenderizer (I found this work much better than with a rolling pin and I didn’t feel like busting out the food processor).
  3. Place the crushed nuts in a large bowl and add 800 ml of water to it. Let stand for two hours. Strain the nuts and water into another large bowl through a layer of cheesecloth, squeezing the cloth to extract all liquid. Add the nuts back into the strained water and let stand for another hour. This removes the oils from the nuts.
  4. Strain the liquid into a saucepan and set aside the nuts for another use or discard. Add the sugar to the pan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved (scrape the bottom occasionally with a spoon to remove any sugar that sticks). Remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes, then add the vodka and orange flower water. Stir and store in a clean glass bottle or air-tight container.



Get To Know
Chef Peter McQuaid
Chef Peter McQuaid

Originally from Arizona, Peter J McQuaid attended culinary school at the International Culinary Center in New York City.

While going to school he rubbed elbows with some of the most celebrated chefs of our time. Upon returning to Arizona, Peter was featured in Phoenix Magazine as one of the best up-and-coming chefs in the Valley. Peter also received the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s Taste America Award and was featured in the Forbes Magazine travel guide. Peter is now incredibly excited to be a part of the opening team as the Executive Chef of Money, Baby! Las Vegas.

Regional Educator Mast-Jägermeister
Nate Laird
Nate Laird

Nate got his bartending chops working in Dives, Clubs, and Craft Cocktail bars in Reno, NV.

From there, he went on to execute craft cocktails at some of the largest music festivals in the country, and in 2016 hung up his tins to join Jägermeister. He's an avid Cyclist, Gamer, and self-proclaimed funny guy.