El Diablo: The Devil is in the Tequila

The earliest known reference to the El Diablo cocktail is found in Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink published in 1946. In that book it is referred to as the “Mexican” El Diablo. Some more interesting history on the El Diablo Cocktail can be found at the Alcademics blog.

This cocktail combines the classic combination of tequila and lime, sweetens it with creme de cassis, and toughens it up with a spicy backbone of ginger beer.

Creme de Cassis is a sweet-tart liqueur flavored with blackcurrants. The better and more expensive versions are made by macerating the blackcurrants in alcohol, which extracts all of the nuanced flavors of the fruit. Other less expensive versions are made by adding flavoring and sugar to a neutral grain spirit.

El Diablo
1.5 oz 100% Reposado Tequila (Pueblo Viejo)
.75 oz Creme de Cassis (Mathilde)
.5 oz lime juice
Ginger Beer (Fever Tree)
Shake the first 3 ingredients with ice and strain into an ice filled highball glass. Top with ginger beer. Garnish with lime wheel and straw. Give a quick stir to incorporate all the ingredients.

Notes:
The original calls for blanco tequila, but I like the added dimension that reposado brings to the table. The spicy agave notes pair well with the kick of the ginger beer. The creme de cassis adds a sweet fruity note that helps to bind all of the flavors together. If you enjoy margaritas, give this drink a try and let me know what you think.

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The Bourbon Renewal

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The Bourbon Renewal was originally created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler
I however first discovered this drink on the Sloshed blog.

Bourbon Renewal
2oz bourbon (Makers Mark)
1oz fresh lemon juice
.5oz creme de cassis
.5oz simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake all ingredients in an ice filled cocktail shaker and pour over cracked ice. Garnish with a lemon wheel or lemon wedge whichever works for you

Notes:
This drink was sweet, fruity, tart with a faint hint of spice. The bourbon is evident throughout and complemented by the spiciness of the Angostura. Next time I will up the bitters to 2 or 3 dashes to add a heavier spice note.

In the process of making this drink I noticed that I still had some hibiscus simple syrup in the fridge. I made a second drink and replaced the simple syrup with the hibiscus. I found that this creates a softer drink with the floral notes of the hibiscus pairing well with the cassis and toning down some of the bourbon flavors. I garnished it with a lemon wheel and an edible hibiscus flower. Hibiscus flowers taste like a combination of sweet raspberry and tart cranberry.

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