Tuesday, October 11, 2011


1 oz Cynar
1 oz Tequila
1/2 oz Chili-infused Tequila (*)
1 oz Pineapple Juice
1 oz Egg White

Shake once without ice, add ice, and shake again. Strain into a rocks glass, top with ~1 oz Regatta Ginger Beer, and add a straw.
(*) Adjust ratio of tequila to infused spirit according to the strength of the infusion and desired taste. Also note, previously, this drink was made without spicy tequila so feel free to opt out.

Monday last week, Andrea and I went to the South End to have dinner at Estragon. For a first drink, bartender Sahil Mehta had a tequila drink that he wanted to showcase. I was a little taken aback by the concept of the chili-infused tequila, but after having a non-traumatic time with the Conquistador, I figured that recalibrating my ability to take alcohol and heat at the same time was in order. Sahil did mention that he originally created this drink without pepper-infused spirits; however, someone at the bar requested a spicier drink, and Sahil discovered that the drink worked a little better that way. I was also drawn to the recipe for it contained Cynar and pineapple. The splendid pairing of tequila and Cynar has been mentioned here in drinks like Under the Volcano and Lipspin; moreover, the pairing of pineapple and Cynar was quite noteworthy in the Green Jacket.
On the nose, I found the pineapple aroma to be the strongest while Andrea honed in on the ginger. The sip contained the tickle of the carbonation that sharpened the pineapple flavor, while the swallow presented tequila and the Cynar's darker herbal notes -- both of which were mellowed by the egg white. The chili pepper came across as a light, lingering sensation; the ginger later joined the chili's heat as its zing built up over successive sips. I was quite impressed at how well Cynar's lower notes countered the higher ones of the ginger beer and worked to balance the drink. For a name, I dubbed this the Alucarda after the Mexican sort-of vampire flick from the late 70s that turned into a B-movie cult classic.

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