Dear Fancy Bar Chef,
I’m looking for that perfect summer tequila drink. I’ve tried your mojitos made with tequila, and of course, I love a margarita when relaxing on my porch, but I’m ready for something new. So what do you have for me?
Thanks for your letter and for trying some of my other suggestions regarding tequila. As luck would have it, I recently rediscovered a lost classic from the early 1940s called the El Diablo.
El Diablo, or The Devil, first appeared in Trader Vic’s Book Of Food & Drink back in the ’40s and although somewhat forgotten, it is still a palate-pleaser. The ingredients are tequila, crème de cassis, lime and ginger beer. Crème de cassis is a blackberry liqueur and pairs brilliantly with tequila and the “zing” of ginger beer.
This cocktail fits almost any occasion and season. El Diablo is cool and refreshing in the hot summer months, yet the concoction — especially with its daunting name — would also make a great Halloween drink.
You’ll find that all the original recipes call for ginger ale instead of ginger beer. However, we have discovered recently that ginger ale from this time period was pretty much our ginger beer of today — but hey, if you would rather have ginger ale in there, then do it! After all, you will be the one drinking it!
1½ ounces tequila
½ ounce crème de cassis
1 lime wedge
Serve on the rocks.
Aaron Brown tends bar at Bleu Restaurant & Wine Bar in downtown Columbia and at The Bridge in the North Village Arts District. Every month you can find him in the pages of Inside Columbia, concocting tasty drinks you can make at home. Follow the Fancy Bar Chef on Facebook (www.facebook.com/fancybarchef) and Twitter (@roontaaron).
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