The El Diablo Cocktail with Porton’s Pisco

I recall 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!

The El Diablo with Porton's Pisco | 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, 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 Ginger Beer. That seemed like a LOT of tequila so Pisco seemed the perfect substitute to lighten that up just a bit for me.

The El Diablo with Porton's Pisco |

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’m a pill about mixing pills and booze so I’ve had to keep my distance for a couple of weeks while on meds and I have to say this was a lovely cocktail to embrace the return to better health. Next week? Come on over; I plan to have a party!!

The El Diablo Cocktail with Porton’s Pisco
  • 3 oz Pisco (or blanco tequila)
  • 1½ oz Creme de Cassis
  • 1½ oz lime juice
  • Ginger Beer (chilled)
  • Thyme sprig
  1. Mix the Pisco, Creme de Cassis and lime juice in a tall glass and still well. Add ice and thyme sprig and stir to combine; top with Ginger Beer.




    • Creative Culinary says

      Are you trying to give me a heart attack or something by commenting? No? Whew! OK, seriously, thanks for the kind comment and I love that glass too!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thank you; I had never heard of it before and now I love it. Potent little bugger though; better love the tequila or pisco that’s put into it! :)

    • Creative Culinary says

      Thanks Georgia; just wish I could share with EVERYONE! I hear limes are getting pricey so I guess we have to get more creative huh? Thanks for stopping by!

  1. says

    This drink must be going around! While in Phoenix, both of my kids mentioned that they had just made this and it is really good. Alex was shocked and thought it quite weird that his twin sister who lives 2500 miles from him, would make the same exact drink! Well, at least they have something in common! Love this rendition, Barb and hope you can finally gulp!

    • Creative Culinary says

      Amazing; I had never heard of it. But then it was in Bon Appetit; they do have a few readers. I sipped a bit never fear. Let’s get together soon.

  2. says

    This is a new drink for me. I’d love to try one. Would you believe that I bought some herbs yesterday and planned to share a little indoor garden with you? I was hoping to brighten your spirits but I see you already have one growing as shown in your lovely photo. Will have to come up with a Plan B! Just know I am thinking of you and wishing you back to good health! Hope to see you soon.
    Holly Most Recent Post: Spring Cheese with #WholeFoods #Giveaway

    • Creative Culinary says

      You are too sweet; but glad something other than thinking of Abbie made me tear up! I had that set of three pots for years and never used it for anything but keeping ‘stuff’ in the pots; this is a much nicer solution. I am reminded of how quickly clay dries out here though; it needs a doggone drip system! We have to get together soon; it’s been far too long! XOXO


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