El Diablo

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Spice and pepper – perfect for fall

According to on-line commentary, this tasty number was born in the 1940s amid the nascent tiki bar craze. That is probably true, but cocktail history is often rather obscure, so who knows?

In my life, it dates back only to last month when my friends, Jim and Brian, excellent hosts and cocktail hounds, served me one before dinner. I was a fan from the first sip!

Here we combine the earthy flavor of tequila with the intense sweetness of creme de casis, and the sour bite of lime. Interesting. What pulls it all together though, is ginger beer. And I'm NOT talking about everyday ginger ale. It has to be ginger beer - something peppery, with a real bite on the back end.

Sipping one of these as the leaves fall will make the sticky summer fade from memory, and the coming frost seem like an old friend.

El Diablo

  • 1½ ounce tequila
  • ½ ounce creme de casis
  • ½ ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces  (more-or-less) ginger beer

Combine the first three ingredients and shake until cold. Strain into a tall glass or a double old fashioned and top with the ginger beer.

A word about ingredients: This whole thing stands or falls on the quality of the ginger beer. Jim and Brian prefer Goya brand, but it can be difficult to find. Fever Tree and Reed's are good alternatives. I've tried this drink with different tequilas, and I can't tell much difference, so save your good sippin' añejo for sippin' and go with something a bit cheaper.

Bye-bye summer. Hello fall!