How To Make A El Diablo
For a drink named “El Diablo,” this tiki-inspired tipple is anything but malo.
The scarlet highball contains an unexpected combination of blackcurrant liqueur, fiery ginger beer, and blanco tequila. Originally, the “Mexican El Diablo,” the drink first popped up in the 1940s and is credited to the legendary bartender Trader Vic.
El Diablo later appeared in his 1946 recipe book, “Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink,” but wasn’t widely appreciated until it landed on the menu at Vic’s restaurant, Señor Pico, in the 1960s. In this recipe — as with all cocktails — balance is key. A heavy-handed pour of ginger beer can drown out the fruity profile of crème de cassis and even the vegetal notes of tequila. A well-executed version of El Diablo resembles a tequila-based Moscow Mule with a fruity twist.
There are two different methods for preparing the drink: layering or shaking. In the former, the tequila, lime juice, and ginger beer are poured into the highball before floating the crème de cassis on top. Swirls of the thick liqueur provide an aesthetically pleasing highball, but shaking the cocktail (sans ginger beer) helps to thoroughly combine ingredients. It’s then strained into an iced-filled glass and topped with the bubbly mixer.
A chilled Collins or standard highball glass is the ideal serving vessel. Additional garnishes, such as skewered cherries or candied ginger, can provide a surprisingly sweet touch to the drink.
Follow the recipe below to learn how to mix up your own El Diablo.