Seasonal Cocktail Creations: The Ancho Chill-Out

Achievement: #18. Seasonal Cocktails | #67. Craft Cocktail Lab

Another season is fading into the history books, but before summer ends, we wanted to squeeze in another special seasonal cocktail for Proper Cocktail Hump Day.

The inspiration for this drink came in a sort of roundabout way. Earlier in the year, a friend of mine was on vacation in Miami, and she sent me a description of a cocktail she had been enjoying in a bar in South Beach called Gramps — and then she challenged me to recreate it.

The end result of my experimentation was a drink that bore some similarity to our spring cocktail — I wound up making another tequila-based beverage, once again featuring that omnipresent CSA item, the cucumber. This time around, though, I took out the springy, floral elements, threw in some summery heat and ended up with a spicy, smoky beverage for your patio that I’ve named…

Summer Cocktail
The Ancho Chill-Out
1-1/2 oz Herradura reposado tequila
1/4 oz Ancho Reyes ancho chili liqueur
3/4 oz cucumber-jalapeño syrup*
1/2 oz lime juice
2 dashes orange bitters
shake with ice until tin is frosty; strain over fresh ice
garnish with cucumber slice on rim of glass

Summer Cocktail
The slight caramel note of the reposado tequila played nicely with the ancho chili liqueur, while the cucumber-jalapeño syrup gave a sweet heat, especially on the finish. I think this is a great candidate to make as a punch for a large gathering; it’s complex but approachable, and the heat is present but not overwhelming. And it is super refreshing!

* For our cucumber-jalapeño syrup, I started with your basic simple syrup ingredients (1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water), bringing them to a low boil until the sugar was fully dissolved. Then I tossed in a half of a cucumber (peeled, quartered, and sliced into chunks) along with 2 small jalapeños (seeded and chopped into thin strips). We simmered the cucumber and the jalapeno until the jalapeño strips began to soften, at which point we strained the syrup into a bottle and pressed the vegetable matter to wring out any remaining liquid.

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Filed under #18, #18-17, #67, #67-17, cocktails, CSA, drinking, herradura, summer, tequila

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