Día de los Muertos
Being close to the international border here in San Diego, we enjoy a lot of great Latin influences. It’s especially exciting to me, because growing up in rural western Washington, I had little to no exposure to it. I’d never tasted authentic Mexican or South American food until I moved here at the age of 25. Now it’s a weekly staple, and often it’s the flavor I crave the most when I come home from traveling.
With today marking the Latin holiday Día de los Muertos, I pulled together some ingredients for a very special and sophisticated cocktail. We’re calling it Trago de Vida, or “Drink Life.” It celebrates the light, the dark, and the unexplained. The smoky nose of the chili-lime rim enhance the tequila’s earthiness and the bright green flavors of lime and jalapeño bring familiarity. All of the flavors mingle and intensify as the drink breathes. The final sip is deep, spicy, herbal, and unexpected.
Trago de Vida Cocktail
- 3 oz. silver tequila
- 1/2 oz. triple sec
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1 tsp. black sambuca (Romana Black)
- Dash of angostura bitters
- Chili-lime salt**
- Slice of jalapeño pepper
Rim a cocktail glass with the chili-lime salt** and set aside. In a cocktail shaker full of ice, add the tequila, lime juice, triple sec, and bitters. Shake until well chilled. Strain into the salt-rimmed glass. Drizzle the sambuca into the center of the glass so it settles at the bottom. Garnish with the jalapeño* slice and enjoy life.
*To make the “skelepeño” (thanks, Dylan) shown above, cut the pepper crossways into a 1/8th inch section. Cut out one outer segment of the jalapeño round, leave the seeds for “teeth,” and clean out the seeds from the “eyes.” Enjoy the refreshing heat that will build over the course of the drink.
- Zest of 1 lime, grated fine
- 1/4 tsp. smoked hot parpika (pimenton ahumado)
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/3 cup coarse sea salt
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds or until will mixed. Seal in airtight container and store in a dry place.
All photos © Gary Allard. All rights reserved. No reproductions permitted.