The first time I made this, it was on a freezing cold December night in Taos, New Mexico. I’d first thought of it much earlier, on an afternoon we once spent in New Orleans at Commander’s Palace for my birthday. They’re known for an exceptionally inventive cocktail menu, and are located in ‘The Cocktail City.’ I couldn’t have asked for a better adult beverage influence for creating my own drink that reminded me of the Southwest. Many moons later on that winter night in Taos, we spent a quiet snowy evening with the TV off, built a fire in the kiva, and I made this bright festive drink for us to sip as we watched the snow fall on the flat top adobe houses. Ever since it’s become a holiday favorite….
I use tequila and prefer the clear clean silver, like this one. But an aged, warmer amber colored reposado or anejo are also fine.
One of the most tasty sweet things about this drink is the rim of red chile sugar.
Mild pure red chile powder…..
………with equal parts chile and regular white sugar, shake in a covered container to mix, and pour onto a flat dish.
Wet the rim of a martini glass with a fresh lime wedge.
Press the glass lightly into the chile sugar.
Doesn’t it already look festive?
Another key to this…….use fresh orange and lime juice. It not only brightens up the flavor with citrus but also cuts the bite of alcohol for a smoother drink.
Guava nectar, it’s just soooo good.
Into the cocktail shaker, before adding the ice………
1 shot tequila
1 shot guava nectar
1/2 shot triple sec or cointreau
juice of 1/4 orange
juice of 1/2 lime
Add ice cubes, pop the lid on and shake for about 1 minute.
Then strain it into the rimmed glass and top it all off with beer. I normally use Alien Amber Ale, it’s made in…..yep you guessed it….Roswell. I was drawn in by those telepathic glowing eyes and found that it’s a smooth tasty wheat, not bitter. Now it’s a favorite. But I can only find it in New Mexico so this time I used….
The last touch is a garnish of lime and orange, and 1 teaspoon of grenadine that settles to the bottom. That little touch of red makes it all the more cheerful. For the full Southwest sunrise effect, have another peek at the first photo at the top of this post.
The first sip gives that sweet earthy chile sugar and surprise of the smallest hint of heat on your tongue, which is a lovely thing on a cold snowy night. Followed by citrus with guava, and hint of tequila.