Latin-Inspired Summer Cocktails

Ingredients from the savory end of the flavor spectrum are adding a touch of pique to this season's drinks.



    Lantao Smoking Maguey As its name suggests, the Smoking Maguey, developed at Miami's Lantao restaurant and social club , is a complex drink with savory notes balancing out the fruit of the cocktail. You can get as creative with your rimming salts as you can with the ingredients of the drinks themselves. Ingredients 1 1/2 oz. Partida Blanco Tequila 1/2 oz. Del Maguey Vida 1 oz. fresh lime juice 1 oz. agave nectar Smoked paprika rimming salt and lime wheel Directions Combine all ingredients into a mixing glass, add ice and shake. Strain over fresh ice in a smoked paprika rimmed glass. Garnish with lime wheel.


    Area 31 Spicy Pickle Like the jalapeño margarita, the feature ingredient of the Spicy Pickle, developed at Area 31 Restaurant in Miami, is Tanteo Jalapeño tequila. Several of the restaurant's cocktails feature ingredients that may seem unusual, such as avocado; the pickle for which this cocktail is named is used as a garnish. Ingredients 2 oz. jalapeño tequila 1 oz. agave nectar 1 oz. lime juice 3 slices cucumber Saffron salt Pickle and/or lime slice Directions Muddle cucumber with all ingredients, shake well. Strain into a martini glass or strain over crushed ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with pickle if in martini glass. Garnish with saffron rim, pickle, and lime if in rocks glass.
    Moris Moreno


    Hibiscus Margarita Have you ever had aloe in a cocktail? Talavera Cocina Mexicana in Coral Gables, Florida, blends aloe with hibiscus and tequila in this unexpectedly fresh cocktail. Ingredients 2 oz. Tequila 100% Agave ½ oz. fresh lime juice ½ oz. aloe vera juice ½ oz. simple syrup 1 oz. of hibiscus tea Directions Make a homemade simple syrup by combining equal parts sugar and boiling water. For a lower calorie version, substitute with Splenda or sugar alternative of choice. Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice and serve in a very cold martini glass. Garnish with lime wedge.


    Angel of Harlem The base liquor of this cocktail, developed at the hip and always-busy Corner Social in Harlem, New York, is Malibu Red, a fusion spirit recently released to market, blending rum and tequila. Ingredients 2 oz. Malibu Red ½ oz. Crème de cassis 1 oz. Ginger ale Directions Shake Malibu Red and Crème de cassis. Strain into a Collins glass over ice and top with ginger ale. Garnish with a cherry and a lemon twist.


    Basil Sangria If you're looking to update the traditional sangria recipe or you want to mix up a large batch of drinks, Peacock Garden Cafe of Coconut Grove, Florida has shared its basil sangria recipe. This recipe makes a gallon. Peacock Garden Café, Coconut Grove FL Ingredients 2-3 bottles of white OR red wine ½ bottle brandy ½ bottle triple sec ¼ bottle peach schnapps 2-4 oz. lemon-lime soda 8 oz. orange juice 4 oz. lime juice 2 oz. simple syrup 2 oz. basil syrup (water and fresh basil leaves) Directions Fill your pitcher nearly to top with red or white wine. Top with lemon lime soda. Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher or bowl. Serve in wine glasses and garnish with a basil leaf or a handful of fresh blueberries if desired.


    Strawberry Pisco Sour Flavored mojitos are so last summer. Now, bartenders have moved on to flavored modifications of other traditional favorites, like the pisco sour. This one was developed by Will Hadjigeorgalis, head mixologist at New York's Hotel Americano, the first US hotel in the Mexico-based boutique hotelier Grupo Habita. Ingredients 2 oz. Pisco Porton Equal parts lemon and lime juice Simple syrup to taste Strawberry puree Half of strawberry for garnish Directions Mix all ingredients in a shaker and strain into a glass for serving; garnish with half a strawberry.
    Francisco Collazo


    Tanteo Jalapeño Margarita Developed by the makers of Tanteo Jalapeño tequila, this cocktail has just the right amount of pique. It's served at the Court Bar at St. Giles-The Court Hotel in New York City, as well as at Roy's and Rosa Mexicano restaurants around the country. The tequila will be available for retail sale in liquor stores in all 50 states starting this month. Ingredients 2 oz. Tanteo Jalapeño Tequila 1 oz. fresh lime juice ¾ oz. light agave nectar Directions Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled, salt-rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with a jalapeño slice or a lime wheel.
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