Verdi Gris

While this week no doubt brings out margarita cravings, we here at Drink of the Week couldn’t help but talk to some of our bartenders about non-marg business, seeing what else was up in the cocktail world. Cecily Barrie gets to play around with new and old ingredients behind the bar at Cielito, and is well aware that Fiesta is here. So she’s come up with the Verdi Gris, which takes the tastes of Old Spanish Days and reworks them into a unique cocktail.

She starts with Hornitos Reposado, a nice base tequila, nothing too fancy. But then she adds some Pavan, a new liqueur, at least to these local shelves.

Imagine a mix of orange blossom water and moscato grapes, with an amazingly complex nose. It’s delightful just by itself over ice, so we were curious what would happen with it in a cocktail. But Barrie wasn’t done: She has made up a puree of cilantro and tomatillos. We know, right? That’s salsa! But, ay, dios mio, it works! “Dangerously drinkable” was uttered. “Like an adult popsicle” was also said. “What to have when a margarita is just not doing it,” was another.

Cielito righteously gets packed during this five-day party, and the Verdi Gris may not have made it on the menu by the time you read this. But you can ask for it by name. Tell them Drink of the Week sent you.

1 1/2 ounces reposado tequila (preferably Hornitos)
1 ounce cilantro and tomatillo puree (see note)
1 ounce Pavan liqueur

Shake ingredients over ice and pour into lowball glass. To make puree: Use the ratio of 1 ripe tomatillo to a small handful of cilantro. Adjust batch size accordingly. Keep refrigerated.

Yield: 1 drink

1114 State St.
965-4770 or www.cielitorestaurant.com