Tag Archives: tequila manhattan recipe

Drink of the Week: Tequila Manhattan

I really like Cocchi, a sweet vermouth from Italy. It’s made using a Moscato wine base that’s then infused with herbs and spices, including gentian, cinchona bark and bitter orange peels. The result is a fruity, raisiny and spicy vermouth, with a touch of bitterness. I learned all this during a crash course in “vermouth vs. amaro” several weeks ago, and now I have the difficult job of trying out recipes that showcase each.

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is a high-quality sweet vermouth from Italy.

Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is a high-quality sweet vermouth from Italy.

First up: the Cocchi vermouth. Why not use it to make a Tequila Manhattan, a twist on the classic cocktail? When you add a bit of jalapeño syrup for smoky sweetness, and a dash of orange bitters to keep its edge, you have the makings of something spirit-forward, but smooth and round. I like-y.

Smooth tequila and sweet vermouth combine in this spirit forward sip that's a twist on a traditional Manhattan.

Smooth tequila and sweet vermouth combine in this twist on a traditional Manhattan.

Tequila Manhattan

  • 1-1/2 oz reposado tequila (I used Rocado)
  • 1/2 oz Cocchi Storico Vermouth di Torino
  • 1 tsp. jalapeño simple syrup*
  • Dash orange bitters
  • Orange zest

Method: Combine tequila, vermouth, jalapeño syrup and bitters in a mixing glass with ice. Stir for about 20 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice ball (optional). Squeeze in orange zest, rim glass with orange peel and drop in.

*Jalapeño simple syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 jalapeño, cut into chunks

Method: Combine sugar and water and heat until sugar is dissolved. Add jalapeño and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool. Strain out jalapeño and store syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Drink of the Week: El Jefe

El Jefe means “the boss” in Spanish, and after trying a cocktail by this name at Anejo this week, I have to say it’s an apt moniker. El Jefe is basically a tequila Manhattan whose commanding, spirit-forward flavour is softened somewhat with a touch of sweet agave nectar. The cherry on top of this delectable drink is, literally, a tequila-soaked cherry. Oh, El Jefe, you had me at “hola.”

El Jefe is a commanding drink from Anejo that will have you under its spell in no time.

El Jefe is a commanding cocktail from Anejo that will have you under its spell in no time.

El Jefe

  • 1-1/2 oz Cazadores Reposado
  •  1/2 oz Cinzanno Rosso
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Flamed orange peel and tequila cherry garnish

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass with a swath of orange peel. Add ice and stir until volume has nearly doubled. Strain into an old fashioned glass over fresh ice, and garnish.

Note: If you’re a bit of a cocktail nerd you can try barrel aging your own combo of tequila and vermouth. Here’s how: Prime a cask with cherry whiskey for 90 days. Pour out the whiskey and pour in three parts tequila and one part red vermouth and age for another 90 days. Then, just add agave nectar and bitters.

— Recipe courtesy Jeff Hines, Anejo