A Summer Trip to Puebla – Strawberry, Spice and Tequila!

A recent confluence of events has had me writing and thinking about fruit shrub, Ancho Reyes Chile licor, and tequila. It’s not a stretch to picture the three flavors together – Ancho Reyes and tequila come from Mexico, and at least here in the U.S., there’s a good chance your fruit did as well. If you’re not familiar with the relatively new Ancho Reyes, it’s essentially neutral cane spirits infused with chile.
The genesis of the idea for my “A Summer Trip to Puebla” cocktail (Puebla is the town where Ancho Reyes originated) was my strawberry shrub, which I blogged about previously. While searching for the next great drink idea, I had the sudden recollection that the flavors of hot spices and strawberries go well together, and that Ancho Reyes provides a nice amount of warm spice without setting your mouth on fire or rendering you prostrate.
The vinegar and sugar in the strawberry shrub do a fine job of providing the sweet and sour elements that make up so many cocktail patterns. But a cocktail with just Ancho Reyes and strawberry shrub alone is too intense for most folks. Plus, to get to the typical 2 oz of 80 proof spirit in a drink would mean 2 oz of Ancho Reyes, which is a large volume of spice.
What I needed was something that would contribute to overall alcohol content, while letting me use a more moderate amount of Ancho Reyes – augmenting the chile flavor but not competing with it. A quick scan of my bar bottles and the choice was obvious – A blanco tequila, rich with its own floral notes, and also a good companion to spicy heat. I used Cabeza, a fine mixing tequila from the 86 Company.
A Summer Trip to Puebla
Build in lowball glass, fill with crushed ice and stir to mix. Garnish with mint leaves or other fitting garnish.

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