Saturday, October 23, 2010

ashes to ashes

1 1/2 Reposado Tequila (Lunazul)
1/2 oz Pedro Ximénez Sherry (Lustau East India Solera)
1 oz Lemon Juice
1 tsp Sweetened Cocoa Mix (3/4 tsp Ghirardelli Unsweetened Cocoa + 1/4 tsp Sugar)
1/4 oz Agave Nectar

Shake with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a few pinches of cinnamon.

Two weeks ago I was tempted by one of the recipes I was sent by a P.R. firm representing Espolón Tequila. Unlike many P.R. firms (Bärenjäger excluded), I was actually sent a collection of good recipes. The recipes were for the Day of the Dead, the Mexican celebration that occurs on November 2nd. While we lack Espolón Tequila (and they did not send any along), we decided to give one of the recipes a try using one of the reposados that we have on our shelves. The drink, Ashes to Ashes, was created by H. Joseph Ehrmann from Elixir in San Francisco, and combined both Mexican and Spanish ingredients similar to how the two cultures melded to form the holiday's traditions. We also lacked the rather sweet Pedro Ximénez sherry; however, the East India Solera we own is half of this style and half dry oloroso.
The cinnamon as a garnish on the drink metaphorically represented the funeral ashes and the spice added to the drink's nose along with the tequila and chocolate. The lemon and sherry paired up well on the sip, and likewise, the tequila, chocolate, and cinnamon complemented each other on the swallow. While my family traditions do not ordinarily honor our dead with such tasty concoctions, I would not mind starting this tradition posthaste.


Anonymous said...

I find this recipe absolutely fascinating, Like you I will have to do a little substituting, and I am torn to some extent as to which tequila to use, The Herra-dura Reposado or the Herencia de Plata. The Herencia is a fave of mine with a very clean flavour profile, but the Herra-dura with its punky earthiness actually might work really well with the Pedro Ximenez and the cocoa. Agave nectar is pretty much non-existent in my parts, but I think Agavero will work just fine.

I guess I'll have to try this one on two separate nights and see what works. Thanks for the recipe Frederick!

Cheers Chip!
(AKA Arctic Wolf)

frederic said...

I'd go earthy.

Agave nectar has never impressed me flavorwise. It doesn't add anything like honey or Demerara sugar. I'm guessing that simple syrup would not change very much (especially against such robust other flavors) to the end result.

Blake said...

Help, please. Hi. First off the drink looks fantastic!! Secondly, I found your blog searching for Espolon's PR company. I realize this post is a few years old but do you happen to know if the PR company is still the same and would you mind sending me their contact info?

frederic said...

I forgot who did them back then, but they are currently owned by Gruppo Campari, so a different PR firm now. Or perhaps it was always Gruppo Campari. but I'm contacted by the Campari people every so often and once a sample pack included Espolon.