When it comes to Latinos and cocktails, we’re all about fusion. Fusing garnishes, alcohols, tinctures, juices, and sodas. Our mixed race demands this of us. So, stop giving your guests the same tired cocktail or liquors served straight up. Instead, at your next gathering wow them with snazzy twists on some Latino classics and a few obscure libations of which they may never have heard.
We’re sorry but if you’re not lucky enough to be Mexican then you probably haven’t heard of a Paloma. In Mexico, it might in fact be more popular than the Margarita, but for some reason this little sweetie of a drink hasn’t been able to come out from behind the Margarita’s shadows. Thanks to hipster reinvention, it is now seeing the light of day. To make 1 drink, dip the rim of a highball glass and then fill it with ice. Add 2½ ounces tequila and a squeeze of lime juice. Top with grapefruit sodas like Jarritos or Squirt and stir gently. Garnish it with a lime wedge.
Turmeric is the antioxidant of the year. Its inflammatory properties has us putting this in everything from meals and now our cocktails. To get started, first combine the mint leaves, lime juice, coconut sugar, and turmeric in a Collins glass. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved and the mint gives off its odor. Fill the glass two-thirds of the way with crushed ice. Add the rum, stir to combine, then top with tonic water. Garnish with mint and lime.
The Spanish Gin and Tonic with cucumbers
Spain has the world’s finest gin and tonics. Sure, the Dutch invented the gin, the British added tonic to it, but somehow the Spanish elevated the drink to the level of art, thanks to its delicious garnishes. Think juniper berries, lemon twists, cucumber strips and raspberries at the bottom of an oversized glass jam packed with ice. This particular recipe uses Hendrick’s Gin, a high-end Scottish small batch gin that is already infused with cucumber and rose and distilled with an array of herbs, seeds, roots and fruit.
Start by taking an oversized wine glass with a long stem and filling it with ice. Pour the gin onto the garnish, so as to properly flavor the gin, followed by tonic poured from a freshly-opened bottle or can. Aim for a ratio of 2:1 or 3:2 (tonic to gin). This might be more than you’re used to, but Spanish nights are long.
Kiss Me I’m Irish Margarita
Whether you drink this green colored concoction because it’s Cinco de Mayo, St. Patty’s Day or because you love all things Irish and Mexican, this cocktail is not only fun on the palette but to look at. Start by combining creme de menthe, tequila, and triple sec in a shaker and shake. Pour into margarita glass with ice and top with sweet and sour mix.
Tinto de Verano
Europe is all about fine wines, even in the summertime. Tinto means red wine, so for those of you avoiding hard liquor, this is a lighter cocktail alternative. If you have ever traveled to southern Spain, you were sure to have seen both teenagers and old ladies sipping this fizzy summer drink. No one wants to gulp down warm red wine in one hundred degree heat. To get started, grab a bottle of your favorite Spanish red, a cold tonic water or lemon flavored soda with plenty of bubbles, a wide glass with to fill it up with lots of ice cubes, and a twist of lemon and orange to make it pretty. If you want an extra kick to the night, add some vermouth.