Another week and I’m recalling a post from the Archives. To be honest, as long as Spring is going to require what it does for me the next year or two I’ll probably do this a couple of times each Spring season. This year I’m planning a deck that I’m both designing and installing with help from a neighbor as well as having all of my sod replaced. The time to get those done is limited and I’m outside working every day that I can…cocktails aren’t happening at all right now!
I do love this drink though and wanted to share it again. I recall clearly those days when the mere mention of the word tequila made me grimace. I found it to be the most unappealing liquor possible. Harsh was the word I would have used to describe it and all these many years later I now know why. Most restaurants, unless they charge you an arm and a leg for an upgrade, serve their tequila based cocktails with something I would never buy.
Beware of Gold; those drinks are anything but! It’s the cheapest and least aged of all tequila and the bite it provides is not something I enjoy. I like something aged and smoother like a reposado…and then I discovered Pisco Portón!
Distilled in the heart of the Andes Mountains, Pisco is the National drink of Peru and Chile. It comes from Muscat grapes grown only in South America and is typically single distilled with a very short fermentation period. When mixed Pisco creates a whole new category of cocktails, more flavorful than vodka and more subtle than tequila.
While the most well known cocktail using Pisco is the Pisco Sour made from Pisco, sugar, lemon, and egg white, shown above. I need to publish this one next because it’s good too; in the meantime my thanks to Liquor.com for their photo…looks good doesn’t it?
I wanted to try it in a cocktail that called for tequila and see if I could discern a distinct difference. Enter the El Diablo. This is a potent potion, calling for 3 oz of blanco tequila to be mixed with equal parts Creme de Cassis and lime juice that is then topped off with Bundaberg Ginger Beer. That seemed like a LOT of tequila so Pisco seemed the perfect substitute to lighten that up just a bit for me.
Now about Ginger Beer. OK, I’m going to admit that for the longest time I thought it a beer…why wouldn’t I right? So it was enlightening a few years back to discover when I made my first Moscow Mule that I was wrong. Don’t tell my children; I’ll never live it down. Ginger Beer is like a Ginger Ale on steroids. It should have a decidedly ginger taste to it; this one does it so well and it’s my absolute favorite.
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks, most well known for their premium brewed Ginger Beer, carefully craft-brew their range of beverages for up to seven days in the town of Bundaberg, Australia using real ingredients brewed to traditional family recipes. Bundaberg has been brewing its world-renowned beverages for three generations, perfecting its craftsman brewing process, while always trying to source its ingredients locally, including growing their own ginger.
Try it and you’ll see why I love it so much; it adds a great zing to any cocktail. I’ve always used my local Cost Plus/World Market Store to locate Bundaberg but use this handy product locator to see where to find it in your neighborhood…it’s all over the WORLD!!
Most recipes call for a lime wedge for garnish but I saw this one in Bon Appetit magazine and figure if Andrew Knowlton can use thyme, so can I! It helps I have a little indoor garden of herbs keeping me sane until the weather warms here enough to start some outdoor planting!
It was heady stuff but this cocktail was delicious too. I haven’t had a cocktail in a bit; I’ve been doing yard work and on a daily ibuprofen regimen so I’ve been avoiding mixing the two. Seems the pain from gardening a bit too much has worked itself out and this was a lovely cocktail to embrace the return to normal. Next week? Come on over; I plan to have a party!!
- 3 oz Pisco (or blanco tequila)
- 1 1/2 oz Creme de Cassis
- 1 1/2 oz lime juice
- Ginger Beer (chilled)
- Thyme sprig (or Lime Wedge)
- Mix the Pisco, Creme de Cassis and lime juice in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to chill. Put ice in a tall glass, pour in the mixture from the shaker, top with Ginger Beer and stir.
- Garnish with the thyme sprig.