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Pisco Punch with Grilled Lemons

Pisco Punch with Grilled Lemons

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Makes 8 Servings

This goes down easy, and offers an oh-so-slight smoky taste.


  • 4 lemons, halved

  • 2 cups Pisco

  • 1 cup pineapple juice

  • 1 cup club soda

Recipe Preparation

  • Prepare grill for medium heat. Grill lemon halves, cut-side down, until lightly charred, about 2 minutes; let cool.

  • Squeeze grilled lemons into a large pitcher and add halves; add Pisco, simple syrup, and pineapple juice. Chill 1 hour. Strain into ice-filled rocks glasses, and top with club soda, about 1 oz. per glass.

Reviews Section

Our Best Mezcal Cocktail Recipes

Matt Taylor-Gross

If you like tequila, but want a Mexican spirit with extra oomph, it’s time to explore the wider world of mezcal. While tequila is distilled exclusively from blue agave—often by large commercial brands—most mezcal remains the purview of small, local producers who work with a number of different agave varietals. As a result, the spirit offers a more poignant expression of terroir, with flavor notes ranging from herbal to spicy, tart to smoky, savory to bittersweet. Traditionally enjoyed straight, or accompanied by orange slices and sal de gusano (a mixture of salt, dried chiles, and ground agave worms), this complex spirit has also given rise to a number of compelling mezcal cocktails.

The easiest way to try your hand at mixing mezcal is to swap it for tequila in a classic margarita, or even for whiskey or gin in a simple old fashioned or negroni. Feeling slightly more adventurous, but still want a simple mezcal recipe? Try this grilled pineapple margarita, which incorporates both tequila and mezcal (an infused, spicy mezcal adds a nice kick), or mix up the “Rising Sun,” a smoky mezcal cocktail that builds upon the expected lime juice with grapefruit juice and Maraschino (instead of orange) liqueur.

The best mezcal cocktails, however, involve offbeat ingredients that play well with the spirit’s particular flavors. Smoky mezcal benefits from the addition of fresh garden veggies and herbs, like asparagus (“Health Kick”), cucumber (“Oaxaca Cooler”), and fennel (“Fennel Delight”). Warm spices (think cinnamon and chiles) amplify mezcal’s toasty agave flavor in “The Shaman” and “Little Devil.”

Of course, the first step—for all of our mezcal recipes—is to procure yourself a fine bottle of agave liquor. Need help choosing one? These five excellent mezcals are good places to start. Enjoy!

TIP OF THE DAY: Mix Zucchini Ribbons With Pasta

When we were 10 years old, Mom planted zucchini in the backyard. We watched in awe as they multiplied faster than the brooms in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice scene from Fantasia. It wasn’t a big plot—maybe 6&rsquo x 8&rsquo—but it produced so much zucchini, we couldn’t eat half of it, and gave the rest away.

A pre-tip tip: Pick or buy zucchini on the smaller side. As they get bigger, they get more watery and bland. We left a few on the vine until the end of the season. There’s a photo of us with our brother, holding up one that grew to three feet long and very wide in girth. (According to Guinness World Records, the longest zucchini measured 7 ft 10.3 inches, harvested in October 2005 in a home garden in Brampton, Ontario, Canada.)


That summer Mom made zucchini crudités with dips zucchini grilled, steamed, stewed, stir-fried, stuffed and baked zucchini bread and muffins zucchini casseroles and lasagna zucchini pickles and salads zucchini soup and our very favorite childhood recipe, fried zucchini with a squeeze of lemon (and of course, ketchup).


August 8th, National Zucchini Day, is a good day for zucchini in any form. Last year, we made zucchini “pasta” with the Microplane Spiral Cutter, a gadget that peels whole zucchini into pasta-like strands (it does the same with cucumbers, carrots and other root vegetables). You can use a box grater, but for less than $15, this gadget makes it easy.

Since then, we’ve been playing with other ways to use zucchini pasta, including swirling the uncooked ribbons into a bird’s nest shape, filled with deviled eggs, egg salad, scrambled eggs and, beyond the nest-and-eggs theme, with marinated cherry tomatoes and other salad ingredients.

But today, we share this idea sent to us from Good Eggs [a supplier of the exceptional produce and specialty foods], excerpted from The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook: A Year of Cooking on Martha’s Vineyard.

The recipe combines conventional ribbon pasta (long strands, like spaghetti and fettuccine) with zucchini ribbons, and makes the pasta dish more nutritious. Zucchini contains lots of vitamin C, plus B6, magnesium, iron and calcium.

But more important to most people, cooked zucchini has just 20 calories per cup, compared with 182 calories for pasta (174 calories for whole wheat pasta). Do the math—and use whole wheat pasta instead of refined white flour pasta for lots more fiber.


Crab adds a touch of elegance to this pasta dish, but you can use any seafood (clams, mussels, oysters, shrimp, etc.) or make a vegetarian version.


*Barilla makes both of these round ribbon pasta shapes. However, since the zucchini ribbons are flat, we went with fettuccine, a flat ribbon pasta (linguine is a thinner version).


1. BRING a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2. COMBINE in a small bowl the crab, jalapeño and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Chop half of the mint and mix gently with the crab.

3. PUT the remaining mint in a second bowl. Grate the squash using a large-hold grater, stopping short of the seedy cores. Add the squash to the mint along with vinegar, garlic, remaining olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix and set aside.

4. COOK the pasta until al dente, about 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the marinated crab, marinated squash and basil and heat through.

A botanical fruit†, zucchini is treated as a vegetable, used as a savory dish or accompaniment (with the exception of zucchini bread and muffins).

All squash originated in Central and South America, and was eaten for thousands of years before Europeans discovered it in the 16th century. It grew in different shapes, including round zucchini balls that you can grow from heirloom seeds.

Christopher Columbus originally brought seeds to the Mediterranean region and Africa. However, the long, green zucchini that have become the standard were developed at the end of the 19th century near Milan, Italy.

Zucchini, Cucurbita pepo, is a member of the cucumber and melon family, Cucurbitaceae. The word squash comes from the Narraganset language of the Native Americans of Rhode Island, who grew askutasquash, “a green thing eaten raw.” The Pilgrims had difficulty pronouncing the whole word, and shortened it to squash. It was an important food crop for both peoples.

The word zucchini comes from the Italian zucchino, meaning a small squash (zucca is the word for pumpkin).

A word about squash blossoms: A long orange blossom grows on the end of each emerging zucchini. It is considered a delicacy, and can be stuffed and fried or pan-fried plain. Alas, this treat was not widely known in our youth, and Mom simply tossed them out.

†All squash are botanical fruits. Zucchini is the swollen ovary of the zucchini flower. Here’s the difference between fruits and vegetables.

4 of 30

Barbecued Bloody Mary

Transform the classic brunch cocktail into a smoky, spicy sip.


2 jalapenos, sliced thickly

1 tablespoon crushed chipotle peppers

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1. Build a fire in a grill for indirect cooking by situating coals on only one side of the grill, leaving the other side void.

2. Thinly spread salt on a disposable aluminum pan or aluminum foil. Place on grill over indirect heat and cover for at least 1 hour. Let cool to room temperature and store in a sealed container.

3. Place lemon halves on a disposable aluminum pan or aluminum foil. Place on the void side of the grill for at least 30 minutes with the lid covered, making sure to keep grill temperature at 225 degrees. Remove from grill and let cool. While lemons cool, place jalapenos on grill, turning once, until both sides are flame-kissed, 1 to 2 minutes on each side.

4. Juice cooled lemons to produce 2 ounces of juice. Reserve remaining smoked lemons to cut for garnish and use for rimming glasses with smoked salt. Combine lemon juice with bourbon, chipotle peppers, molasses, beef stock, onion powder, cayenne, and tomato juice in a large plastic container and mix well. Store in refrigerator until ready to use.

5. Run a sliced smoked lemon wedge around the lip of a Collins glass. Dip and twist glass lip in smoked salt to rim. Combine 4 ounces drink mix and 2 ounces bourbon into glass. Garnish with smoked lemon wedge and jalapeno slice.

Nutritional score per serving: 167 calories

Recipe created by Josh Perry, mixologist at Picán restaurant (Oakland, CA)

Pisco Punch

Add all components to a cocktail shaker with ice, and shake effectively on for 8 to 12 seconds. Pressure over recent ice and garnish with a pineapple wedge.


Photograph: Courtesy Jennifer Mitchell

Pisco: Pisco’s a little bit of a blended bag. It may possibly come from both Chile or Peru, for starters, and there’s totally different rules within the two international locations. Chile has numerous good pisco, but when I might select, I’d go Peruvian: The legal guidelines are stricter, so you may have a greater sense of what you’ll be getting. Moreover, it may be created from any of eight allowed grapes, and a few of these eight, like Moscatel, are fairly aggressively floral. This isn’t essentially unhealthy, but when given the choice, I like to recommend discovering an “Acholado” (mix), through which the producer has chosen a mixture of grapes for good all-around stability. In case you are on the retailer and searching on the single model of pisco that retailer carries, I’m certain that shall be nice. If it’s adequate to make it to our cabinets, it’s virtually definitely adequate for this drink.

Citrus: The unique recipe referred to as for lemon juice, however in equity, the unique recipe was in 1856 and it’s impossible that they had the posh of each lemons and limes, to decide on at their fancy. Lemons work, however personally, I a lot desire lime juice, the tart zesty end a welcome distinction to the beneficiant sweetness of the pineapple.

Pineapple Syrup: There was critical work put in to decoding Nicol’s recipe after he died, and probably the most laudable effort reported that it was created from pisco, lemon, distilled water and pineapple-flavored gum syrup. Gum syrup is a straightforward syrup mixed with gum arabic, a powder derived from the Acacia tree which provides a silky physique to cocktails. The impact is refined however nice, and if in case you have the chance, San Francisco’s personal Small Palms Meals makes a stunning Pineapple Gum Syrup. For those who can’t be bothered, it’s okay, both soak a easy syrup in a single day in diced pineapple chunks (for a refined taste) or make a pineapple syrup by combining and dissolving equal elements sugar into recent pineapple juice (for a bolder taste).

Different Substances? Some cocktail folks, puzzled about Kipling’s crimson imagery in his “tropical daybreak” and “crimson clouds of sundown,” have deduced that the key ingredient that made everybody each fall in love with the cocktail and never be capable of cease speaking about it was, because it seems, cocaine. Vin Mariani was a Bordeaux-based fortified crimson wine that was infused with coca leaves, and several other historians declare that this was the key ingredient, the “crimson clouds” within the Pisco Punch. Lillet Rouge (one other fortified crimson wine from Bordeaux, although this time with out the narcotic infusion) might be the closest factor, and it does certainly combine effectively within the Pisco Punch, its lush crimson fruit filling out the extra piquant florals from the spirit. It’s definitely fascinating to attempt, although on the finish of the day, I really feel prefer it brings extra noise than sign.

Each week bartender Jason O’Bryan mixes his up his favourite drinks for you. Take a look at his previous cocktail recipes.


SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
116June 5, 2011 ( 2011-06-05 ) November 13, 2011 ( 2011-11-13 )
212June 3, 2012 ( 2012-06-03 ) September 2, 2012 ( 2012-09-02 )
313June 16, 2013 ( 2013-06-16 ) September 15, 2013 ( 2013-09-15 )
413June 22, 2014 ( 2014-06-22 ) September 14, 2014 ( 2014-09-14 )

Season 1 (2011) Edit

Season 2 (2012) Edit

Season 3 (2013) Edit

Season 4 (2014) Edit

  1. ^"Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction (TV Series 2011– ) - IMDb". Internet Movie Database. Amazon . Retrieved October 23, 2018 .
  2. ^
  3. "Barbecue Addiction: Bobby's Basics | Food Network". Food Network. Scripps Networks Interactive . Retrieved October 23, 2018 .
  4. ^
  5. "Breaking News - Bobby Flay Goes Back to Grilling Basics in "Barbecue Addiction: Bobby's Basics," Premiering Sunday June 22nd at 11AM ET/PT |". The Futon Critic. Futon Media. May 28, 2014 . Retrieved October 23, 2018 .
  6. ^
  7. Trachta, Ali (May 25, 2011). "Q & A with Bobby Flay, Part 2: Why Being on TV is the Easy Part". LA Weekly . Retrieved October 24, 2018 .
  8. ^
  9. "Daytime Emmy Awards 2012: The Winners List | Hollywood Reporter". The Hollywood Reporter. Eldridge Industries. June 23, 2012 . Retrieved October 23, 2018 .
  10. ^
  11. Flay, Bobby Banyas, Stephanie Jackson, Sally (April 23, 2013). Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction. ISBN978-0307461391 .

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The Art of Pairing Cocktails & Barbecue

Learn how to match your BBQ favorites with delicious drinks.

Steven Raichlen

Richard Dallett

“Leaded or unleaded?” asked the bartender at a grill shack in the Bahamas. Did I want my Sky Juice (a cinnamon-and-nutmeg-scented punch made with coconut water and evaporated milk) with gin or without it?

Of course, I chose the leaded version—fortified with a spirit that recalls the centuries-long British presence in the Bahamas. The island is also famous for distilling rum, as do, of course, most countries in the Caribbean.

The concoction also helps answer one of the most frequent questions I’m asked: What do I drink with barbecue?

Well, my first principle of pairing cocktails with grilled food is to choose a spirit made and favored by the locals.

So, with lechon asado, that garlic-scented, spit-roasted pig so popular in Puerto Rico, I invariably blend up a batch of Piña Coladas (created, so the story goes, by a San Juan bartender at the Caribe Hilton in the ’50s). Or with poulet boucane, Guadaloupe’s chicken smoke-roasted over sugar cane, I enjoy Petit Punch, an indolent cocktail made with white or dark French West Indian rum, fresh lime juice and a sugar cube or simple syrup.

Brazil’s picanha, spit-roasted fat-cap sirloin carved off the skewer right onto your plate at a churrascaria (Brazilian steak house), demands a Caipirinha, fresh limes muddled with sugar and fortified with the potent cane spirit cachaça.

In Peru, I nibble anticuchos (chili paste­–slathered, charcoal-grilled beef-heart kebabs) with—what else?—Pisco Sours.

Even staunchly Muslim countries—hotbeds of grilling ecstasy—have their requisite drinks for a barbecue, like the dugh (yogurt, mint and rose petal mixed with sparkling water to a refreshing froth), traditionally served with Iran’s legendary kubideh (ground beef kebabs). Afghans serve a similar beverage—doh—which you can order sweet or salted. In Muslim neighborhoods in Singapore you might sip a Pepto-Bismol–colored combination of rosewater, grenadine and sweetened condensed milk known as bandung.

But there is a second—and, to my mind, more interesting—approach to pairing cocktails and barbecue, and that is to grill or smoke the actual drink.

Last year on the set of my PBS TV show, Project Smoke, we dipped cut lemons, limes, oranges and grapefruits in sugar and grilled them over a screaming hot fire. The sweet smoky caramelized fruit went into a punch bowl with brown sugar, brandy and charred cinnamon sticks. We then added ice-cold prosecco and Grilled Sangria was born. (For a red version, use Italy’s sparkling red wine, lambrusco.)

But smoke-flavored cocktails have a long history and are traditionally made with a smoky spirit, like an Islay single malt Scotch or a Mexican mezcal. To make the former, distillers bake the malted barley in mammoth kilns fueled by peat fires. To make mezcal, the heart of the agave is traditionally slow roasted in pits full of hot rocks prior to mashing and distilling. The result: a tequila-like spirit that smells like your clothes after an evening sitting around a campfire.

To harness the unique smoky flavor of these spirits, try making a Blood and Sanda potent combination of Scotch, orange juice, sweet vermouth and the sweet Danish liqueur Cherry Heering. The drink was concocted in the 1920s and named in honor of a bullfighting movie starring heartthrob Rudolph Valentino.

Another good choice is the Mezcalini—a mash-up of a Margarita and a Mojito served at the Casa Oaxaca in, you guessed it, Oaxaca, Mexico. Muddle fresh mint and cucumber with triple sec and mezcal and you’ve got one of the most refreshing summer cocktails imaginable.

These days, there is an easy way to smoke any cocktail no matter what liquor it’s made with: Use a handheld smoker like the one from Aladin or a Smoking Gun model. (Think of these smokers as bongs that expel hickory smoke instead of Colorado’s quasi-official state plant.) All you have to do is cover your shaker or glass with plastic wrap and insert the smoker hose. Fill the vessel with smoke. Let it stand for three to four minutes and then stir. Depending upon how smoky you like your drinks, you may need to do it again.

No matter which cocktail you decide to make, I hope you have a great Labor Day!

Steven Raichlen is the author of the Barbecue Bible cookbook series and hosts Project Smoke and Primal Grill on PBS. His latest book is the New York Times bestseller Project Smoke. For more recipes and inspiration, visit his site.

The cocktail divide: West Coast and East Coast cocktail cultures couldn't be more different - right?

1 of 8 Four cocktails representing the differences between East and West Coast bartenders. The cocktails are (front to back), Roasted Peach Old Fashioned, Winter Tale, The Final Ward, and Nouveau Carre, styled by Maryann Smitt in San Francisco, Calif, on June 20, 2008.Photo by Craig Lee / The Chronicle Photo by Craig Lee/SFC Show More Show Less

2 of 8 Roasted Peach Old Fashioned cocktail, styled by Maryann Smitt in San Francisco, Calif, on June 20, 2008. Photo by Craig Lee / The Chronicle Photo by Craig Lee/SFC Show More Show Less

4 of 8 The Final Ward cocktail, styled by Maryann Smitt in San Francisco, Calif, on June 20, 2008.Photo by Craig Lee / The Chronicle Photo by Craig Lee/SFC Show More Show Less

5 of 8 Nouveau Carre cocktail, styled by Maryann Smitt in San Francisco, Calif, on June 20, 2008.Photo by Craig Lee / The Chronicle Photo by Craig Lee/SFC Show More Show Less

7 of 8 Winter Tale cocktail, styled by Maryann Smitt in San Francisco, Calif, on June 20, 2008.Photo by Craig Lee / The Chronicle Photo by Craig Lee/SFC Show More Show Less

Like true sons and daughters of the hippie generation, the young bartenders of San Francisco tend toward organic cocktails filled with homegrown this and hand-fed that. Their creative juices are sweetened only with the pure agave nectar.

Back east in New York City, the progeny of Wall Streeters hold forth from behind the ivy-covered bars of the Big Apple. They seem to enjoy reinventing drinks that have been with us for a century at the very least, adding a drop of this, a dash of that, changing, perhaps, just one ingredient to bring the drink into the 21st century.

You simply can't get a classic cocktail in San Francisco, and if you go to New York you'll find nothing but.

Unless I'm wrong, of course .

Although more than a few American cities boast great cocktailian bartenders, these two are often considered the leaders of modern American mixology, and each has its own vocal set of partisans. Since I've been listening to generalizations about East and West Coast bartenders for some time now, I think it's about time we set the record straight. First, I should probably point out that I've listened to similar comparisons between British and American bartenders, I've heard bartenders in Paris talk about their German counterparts, and believe it or not I've been privy to discussions about the merits of Slovakian bartenders compared to the guys who mix drinks in the Czech Republic.

Let's start out with a simple truth: All bartenders are created equal. Where they go from there is a matter of individual choice, and although certain styles most definitely emerge in specific locations - more on this in just a bit - there are bartenders who embrace their hometown fashions, and there are bartenders who shun them.

Now, let's get into some specifics.

Toby Maloney, a New York bartender who is currently the head mixologist at the Violet Hour in Chicago, muses that the cocktail scene today is much like the culinary landscape of a couple decades ago. "The East Coast is rooted in tradition - (and) by that I mean it is more conservative - where the West Coast is more experimental," he says. "I think that the bartenders in San Francisco are a little, well, nicer. We can have some serious attitude (in New York). You got a problem with that?"

Jacques Bezuidenhout, a man who has worked behind many of the finest cocktail bars in San Francisco, best sums up the general feeling I get from most, though certainly not all, of the city's bartenders who I asked about their style of creating drinks.

"I think we tend to look toward fresh ingredients," he says, adding that many San Francisco bartenders work closely with the kitchen to get their fruits, herbs and fresh produce - something found in abundance out west. "I think the trend started in the kitchen with the likes of Alice Waters and then over the years moved to the bar," he says. Good point, Jacques.

We also have to consider the fact that bartenders are wont to travel, so some New York quirks tend to make their way west, and our bartenders take some of their West Coast idiosyncrasies back east.

Pros with eggs and ice

Greg Lindgren, bartender and co-owner of Rye, says that last time he was in New York he learned a lot from talking to the bartenders at Little Branch and Death & Co. "New York (bartenders) handle eggs and ice better than I do," he noted. And Toby Cecchini, the New Yorker who is generally recognized as the creator of the cosmopolitan as we know it (Cheryl Cooke, a Miami bartender, came up with the concept, Toby ran with it) has noticed some bartenders in New York "doing lychee this and shiso that," ingredients that are far more commonplace behind bars in San Francisco. "With so much media attention focused on bartenders and bartending in general, I find things are beginning to blend together a bit more," he says.

Bartenders don't merely visit other cities, though. Sometimes they pull a few shifts while they're there. Thomas Waugh, for instance, the creator of some very serious cocktails who can usually be found shaking and stirring at San Francisco's Alembic, recently did a guest stint at New York's Death & Co., a speakeasy-style joint that's known for killer cocktails. And Phil Ward, the big cheese bartender at Death & Co, took Waugh's place behind the stick at Alembic.

When asked about the differences between bars on both coasts, Waugh said that cocktails on the West Coast might have been heavy on the citrus side about five years ago, but that's no longer true. Remember, this is the view of an individual, and although most of Waugh's drinks are not citrus-heavy, there are Bay Area bartenders very willing to take the opposing point of view. That doesn't make Waugh categorically wrong, though, and he makes a good point when he notes that the major difference between drinks on opposing coasts could be that the citrus fruits available to Californians are of better quality than the limes and lemons that the good folk back east can get their hands on.

"Don't take this the wrong way," he pleaded. "I loved working at Death & Co."

Geography or history?

Ward, on the other hand, thinks that the biggest difference in bars out west lies in the expectations of the customers. "San Franciscans tend to want to know where the ingredients in a cocktail come from in a geographic sense, whereas New Yorkers are more interested in where they came from historically," he says. It's an interesting take on both coasts' cultures, I guess, and I'll bet that Ward isn't the first bartender to notice this - traveling far and wide in order to learn the craft isn't an entirely new phenomenon.

New York-born bartending pioneer Jerry Thomas, for instance, held forth from behind the mahogany in San Francisco during the days of the Gold Rush, and he tended bar in Charleston, Chicago and a few other cities before returning to the Empire State.

Rival bartenders

Thomas' main rival, Harry Johnson, on the other hand, got his basic training in San Francisco, claims to have published America's very first bartender's manual here - no copies have been found to my knowledge - and then moved on to Chicago where he opened, as he humbly described it in the 1900 edition of his "Bartenders' Manual," "what was generally recognized to be the largest and finest establishment of the kind in this country." After that joint burned to the ground in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, Johnson went on to Boston, and he ended up opening his own place, Little Jumbo, on the Bowery in New York.

Thomas and Johnson, it seems, had the chance to work with the best of the best ingredients in San Francisco, if Hinton Helper, a 19th century journalist from North Carolina is to be believed: "I have seen purer liquors, better sugars, finer tobacco, truer guns and pistols, larger dirks and bowie knives, and prettier courtesans here in San Francisco than in any other place I have ever visited and it is my unbiased opinion that California can and does furnish the best bad things that are available in America," he wrote in his 1855 book, "The Land of Gold."

And more than 150 years later I'm guessing that most of us believe that Helper's observations hold true today. More than a couple of world-class spirits producers are made right at San Franciscans' doorsteps. California spirits producers such as Anchor, Charbay, Distillery No. 209, Germain-Robin, and St. George Spirits have not only inspired bartenders on both coasts, but many understood, long before major liquor producers, how important bartenders are to their survival.

Even if the citrus-heavy theory of San Franciscan drinks isn't true today - and it might be - it most definitely was true in the late 1800s. And for good reason, too. At that time pisco punch was the toast of the town here while New Yorkers of the same time period were more likely to be knocking back Manhattans, and it's not hard to figure out why. Pisco was being shipped to San Francisco from Peru, and there happens to be quite a bounty of citrus in California. Pisco punch, then - basically pisco, pineapple juice and fresh lemon juice - would have been a natural for this neck of the woods.

New York

Death & Co.

Location: 433 East 6th Street, New York, NY
Bartender: Eryn Reece
Drink: Drop the Vowels
Eryn Reece came up with Drop the Vowels for one of New York's hottest cocktail spots. The drink has been on the menu since summer 2014, and includes Elijah Craig bourbon, Thai bird chili-infused Rittenhouse rye whiskey, lime juice, pineapple juice, Aperol and raspberries. It's all shaken up and served with a lime wheel in a traditional coupe cocktail glass.

Photo courtesy of Death & Co.

La Pulperia

Locations: 371 W. 46th Street 1626 2nd Avenue, New York, NY
Bartender: Luis Villanueva
Drink: Chilango
The Chilango is a best seller at both La Pulperia locations in Manhattan. Mixologist Luis Villanueva crafted the drink with La Pitaya by Riazul tequila, Cointreau, La Pulperia's house-made spicy sauce and tamarind. The drink is garnished with lime and a spicy rim.

Photo courtesy of La Pulperia

Mission Chinese Food

Location: 171 East Broadway, New York, NY
Bartender: Sam Anderson
Drink: Phil Khallins
At the New York location of Mission Chinese Food, check out Sam Anderson's best seller, the Phil Khallins, served in a Chinese soup bowl. It's an alcoholic riff on a creamy Tom Kha coconut soup, made from gin, coconut, kaffir lime, ginger, fried chilies and sesame oil.

Photo courtesy of Mission Chinese


Location: 120 Rivington Street, New York, NY
Bartender: Natasha David
Drink: Viking Cruise
Nitecap's Natasha David devised the Viking Cruise, and it's a drink made from Krogstad Aquavit, pineapple juice, coconut cream, lime juice and curry leaves. The tropical intoxicant is shaken, strained and served in a mug with crushed ice, garnished with mint. Also try the 50 Footer, made from Siembra Azul Blanco Tequila, Beefeater Gin, yellow Chartreuse, lime juice, simple syrup, and a kaffir lime leaf, shaken and strained into a coupe glass.

Photo courtesy of Nitecap

The Dead Rabbit

Location: 30 Water Street, New York, NY
Bartender: Jillian Vose
Drink: Spell Spoke
Mixologist Jillian Vose came up with the Spell Spoke. The drink takes hibiscus-infused Jameson Black Barrel and mixes it together with fresh lime juice, cane syrup, ginger syrup and Boston bitters, along with two kaffir lime leaves. It's garnished with nutmeg, and served over cracked ice.

The Eddy

Location: 342 E. 6th Street, New York, NY
Bartender: Kelvin Uffre
Drink: Deep Sea Colony
Kelvin Uffre's Deep Sea Colony is a drink made from Mizu Shochu plus a number of unique liqueurs, including Poli Miele, Suze Gentian, and Crème de Violette. It also incorporates the Thai staple of taro root, along with vanilla soda and sea salt, served on the rocks.

Photo courtesy of The Eddy

The Flatiron Room

Location: 37 West 36th Street, New York, NY
Bartender: Louis Zammaretto
Drink: Siamese Storm
A brand new addition to The Flatiron Room's cocktail list is the Siamese Storm. The drink incorporates slowly-aged Thai Phraya Rum, touted as Asia's only luxury rum brand, and is blended with ginger beer and fresh lime juice, garnished with a lime twist and served in a Collins glass.

Photo courtesy of The Flatiron Room

Whiskey Soda Lounge NY

Location: 115 Columbia Street, Brooklyn, NY
Bartender: Michael Pieretti
Drink: Mao Takrai
At the New York location of Andy Ricker's Whiskey Soda Lounge, authenticity is the name of the game. That's why bottles of Thailand's ubiquitous Chang and Singha beers can be found. Instead though, opt for the Mao Takrai — Drunk on Lemongrass. The drink showcases white rum, lemon juice and lemongrass syrup shaken together and served in a martini glass. A second option takes that Singha beer as a base, and makes a Thaichelada, with tamarind, lime, Maggi sauce and Jaew Thai chili sauce, all served in a chili-salt rimmed glass.

Photo courtesy of Whiskey Soda Lounge NY

Our Best 20 Tequila Cocktail Recipes for Agave-Soaked Margarita Happiness

Matt Taylor-Gross

Made from the blue agave plant, tequila is a spirit with cult following. As any self-respecting tequila drinker knows, the best margarita recipes start with good tequila. With so many versatile styles of of the spirit, from añejo to reposado to blanco, you can find it both in the best summer cocktail recipes as well as the best fall weather cocktails. And with Cinco de Mayo approaching, nothing beats a good tequila cocktail to pair with your Cinco de Mayo recipes. From margaritas to palomas, here are the best tequila recipes to sip on (or get sloshed on).

Tomato and Orange Sangrita

This flavor-packed sipper is served alongside a neat glass of tequila at La Tequila in Guadalajara, Mexico. Do as many Mexicans do: A sip of tequila, a sip of sangrita—repeat, for the best experience. Ge the recipe for Tomato and Orange Sangrita »

Classic Margarita

This recipe proves that simple can be delicious. We recommend using Herradura Silver Tequila. Get the recipe for a Classic Margarita »

Frozen Margarita

In 1971 Mariano Martinez figured out how to make frozen margaritas from a soft serve ice cream machine—the rest is history. We recommend using Herradura Silver Tequila for this refreshing variation. Get the recipe for Frozen Margarita »

Chile-Pomegranate Paloma

While the margarita is far better known, the grapefruit-, tequila-, and soda-based Paloma is an equally refreshing Mexican classic. Using árbol chile-spiked grenadine as a sweetener—rather than agave nectar or simple syrup—adds smokiness and a touch of heat. Get the recipe for Chile-Pomegranate Paloma »

Cilantro, Chile, and Pineapple Sangrita

This flavor-packed sipper is served alongside a neat glass of tequila at La Mezcaleria in Ajijic, Mexico. Do as many Mexicans do: A sip of tequila, a sip of sangrita—repeat, for the best experience. Get the recipe for Cilantro, Chile, and Pineapple Sangrita »


A jalapeño-infused, blood-colored tequila and beet cocktail, the Moradita (“Little Death”), is a fresh, nearly healthy-tasting drink with some real body and a balancing hint of elegant richness. Get the recipe for Moradita »

The Soul Train

Tequila and cardamom is an unexpected combination, but it works beautifully with the help of lime and grapefruit juice. Get the recipe for The Soul Train »

Bala de Canon

Tequila, agave nectar, and cantaloupe purée get shaken up in this summery cocktail from Houston’s The Pastry War. Get the recipe for Bala de Canon »

Tequila Old Fashioned

Aged reposado tequila adds smooth vanilla notes to a light, citrusy twist on a classic old fashioned from Pittsburgh restaurant Verde Mexican Kitchen & Cantina. Get the recipe for Tequila Old Fashioned »

Calavera Catrina

This tequila and cantaloupe cocktail from Edinburgh’s The Lucky Liquor Co. is refreshing and fruity, making it the perfect summer drink. Get the recipe for Calavera Catrina »

Margarita Al Jazeera

Jerusalem’s most vibrant watering hole is Yudale, where the bar offers sui generis drinks that include this delicious, tequila-based creation infused with rose petals and cumin. The name is an homage to the many journalists who tramp through town. Get the recipe for Margarita Al Jazeera »

Romero and Julieta

Danny Sanchez of Rancho Pescadero in Mexico gave us the recipe for this vibrant, summery cocktail in honor of our 21st birthday. He starts with a tea made from dried hibiscus, then adds tequila, a rosemary-infused simple syrup, and lime juice. Get the recipe for Romero and Julieta »

Boston Tea Party

This refreshing, fragrant drink is served at The Marliave restaurant in Boston. It mixes grassy tequila with spicy ginger beer and a syrup infused with bergamot-flavored Earl Grey tea. Get the recipe for Boston Tea Party »

The Malibu

This refreshing tequila cocktail comes from the team behind Los Angeles’ The Walker Inn. Inspired by the Pacific Coast Highway, it’s infused with grapefruit and pisco, then softened with floral Lillet Blanc. Get the recipe for The Malibu »

Watermelon-Basil Cocktail

Exceedingly well-balanced, this juicy cocktail from John Karangis of Union Square Events gets its sweetness from yellow watermelon, herbal freshness from Chartreuse and basil, and an astringent kick from tequila. While red watermelon will work in a pinch, you won’t get the clarity of color unless you spring for the yellow. Get the recipe for Watermelon-Basil Cocktail »


A snack-sized negroni with a savory agave twist from bartender Tristan Willey of Long Island Bar. Get the recipe for Tinegroni »

Le Mexique

This tequila cocktail gets spicy sweetness from ginger liqueur and fruit-forward body from mango purée. Get the recipe for Le Mexique »

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Grilled Pineapple Margarita

Lavender Paloma

Our twist on the classic tequila and grapefruit cocktail uses mezcal, fresh grapefruit juice, and lavender simple syrup for a drink that’s simultaneously smoky, bright, and floral. Get the recipe for Lavender Paloma » A spicy ginger kick and the subtle, unmistakably grassy sweetness of kale elevates this vegetal variation on the margarita, from the New York City bar The Wayland. Get the recipe for The Garden Variety Margarita

Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade

This lemonade is rendered smoky-sweet with the juice of grilled lemons and limes and toasted simple syrup, which has a mild caramel flavor that does a lot to complement the grilled fruit. Get the recipe for Smoked Lemon-Lime-Ade »

Strawberry Cachaça Shake


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