DRINK OF THE WEEK : The Marquee’s EL JEFE

Photo by Nik Blaskovich
Photo by Nik Blaskovich

This Mother’s Day, friends, let us wish this upon you: May your mother stay consistent in all the great things she does, but also constantly surprise you.

Here’s an example: My mom knows how to roast a mean chicken and potatoes with lashings of gravy. And recently joined an improv group and is gearing up for a live show. Just when you think you’ve got your family figured out, they do this.

Another surprise: The mellow Sunday nights at The Marquee are being revamped into a stand-up comedy night, with an open microphone. We stopped by to say howdy and found ourselves face to face with several people — men and women — telling jokes.

And another surprise: our regular bartender, owner Scott Sampila, was off and Chicago native Brian Kinsella, who’s only been around since two weeks ago, was making our drinks. While we fought the desire to take the mic and tell jokes, we had an El Jefe, maybe one of the spiciest drinks on State Street. (Would your mom like this? No? Ours would.)

The El Jefe is a regular on the expansive Marquee menu, and combines serrano-infused tequila, Canton ginger liqueur, lime and agave. It floored us the first time we had it — so spicy, but with a ginger aftertaste. How is that done? Try it and find out. In the meantime, we are raising our Drink of the Week glass to all the moms out there. Do the unexpected.

EL JEFE
2 ounces serrano-infused Sauza Blue Tequila
1 ounce Canton ginger liqueur
1/2 ounces fresh lime juice
Splash agave nectar
Crushed (powdered) red pepper for rim

To make the infused tequila, cut 2 serrano chilies in half lengthwise and let infuse in tequila from 1 to 5 hours, according to taste (you can remove seeds if you prefer before adding to tequila).

Combine tequila, ginger liqueur, lime and agave over ice, shake and pour into lowball glass with crushed red pepper rim. Garnish with lime wedge.

The Marquee
1212 State St.
(805)560-0100 or www.marqueesb.com

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