HOW I MAKE THAT DRINK (AND WHY IT’S SO GOOD)
The Retox, from master mixologist Sother Teague
Sother is the award-winning Amor y Amargo’s Master Mixologist at Eterea, a new tequila and mezcal cocktail bar located in New York City’s East Village.
One of my favorites drinks is Retox. It’s made with fresh jalapeño and maple syrup along with lemon juice and Blanco tequila. It’s rimmed with a sweet spicy mixture of kosher salt, sugar, smoked paprika, and cayenne.
The key to this drink is making sure your fresh jalapeños are spicy, often they’re as mild as a bell pepper, so it’s important to taste them. You want spicy.
This drink is a cheeky play on the once popular detox cleanse which consisted of lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne. I thought to myself, here are the base ingredients for a spiced sour, so I just added tequila to make the Retox!
It’s a basic sour employing maple syrup in place of sugar and has the addition of some fresh and dried spice elements in the form of jalapeño and cayenne. There’s something natural about the maple syrup combining with the slight smokiness of the paprika and the oak notes from the Reposado tequila. It almost reminds me of breakfast.
2-3 slices of fresh jalapeño
2 oz Reposado tequila
.75 oz maple syrup
.5 oz fresh lemon juice
Sweet spicy salt for rim is as follows:
4 parts kosher salt
2 parts sugar
1 part smoked paprika
½ part cayenne
Muddle jalapeño in base of tin, add tequila, syrup and lemon juice. To “muddle” the jalapeño is to use a muddler (or spoon!) to press the jalapeños to break them down. This breaks down the skin and releases the spicy oils in the pepper so that they incorporate into the cocktail.
Shake vigorously with ice. Taste before straining to make sure the chilies aren’t insanely hot. Double strain (to remove any pepper bits) into a half-salted rim glass of fresh ice. The sweet spicy salt is put around the rim.