This drink debuted during Fiesta 2012 when Reds Bar & Tapas was packing them in, but once the nights got colder and Dana Walters started reducing hours, the El Presidente vanished off the menu.
On this particular day, it was windy but warm in the Funk Zone, the Urban Wine Trail tourists were off spelunking in tasting rooms, and summer felt nearby. Ms. Walters had even opened an extra day. And so the El Presidente was back on the menu at Reds, where we first tasted it during happy hour. We returned to grab the recipe and chat with Ms. Walters.
The inspiration for the cocktail came from a trip to Chicago and a drink called the Chadwick, which pairs rum and jalapeño spice. When Ms. Walters came back, she wanted something as spicy but lighter. So out went rum and in went tequila. In, out, in, out, shake it all about! The El Presidente has a lovely pink color from the grapefruit, and that bitterness mixed with jalapeños and ginger makes the drink. It’s not one of these spicy drinks that curl the toes. It’s more the kind of spice that comes from a fresh pepper: watery, raw, reminiscent of summer. That’s why we came back for a second try and why this is our Drink of the Week.
1 fresh jalapeno, lightly seeded, sliced into rings
1 ounce ginger simple syrup (see recipe)
2 1/2 ounces grapefruit juice
4 ounces tequila (preferably Hornitos)
Muddle jalapeno rings and ginger simple syrup in shaker, then add juice, tequila and ice. Shake and pour into cocktail glass. Garnish with grapefruit wedge and 1 jalapeno slice.
Yield: 1 drink
Ginger Simple Syrup
1/2 cup ginger, peeled and lightly crushed
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
Boil crushed ginger in water for a minute or so. Strain out ginger and add sugar. Dissolve and cool
Reds Bar & Tapas
211 Helena Ave. 966-5906