Who couldn’t use an extra spice in their life … or at least in their cocktail? In Texas, it is completely acceptable to add salsa or peppers to most any dish, so why shouldn’t we do the same to our cocktails?
I recently had the privilege to try a liqueur made from poblano peppers, Ancho Reyes Verde, that just became available in Texas. For those of you who are already a fan of the original Ancho Reyes, this is its new, “fresher” counterpart.
Ancho Reyes Verde is made from the same poblano chile as the Ancho Reyes, but the peppers used are green chiles harvested a bit early, then roasted. The original uses the late-harvest, sun-dried peppers . The heat that comes from Ancho Reyes Verde seriously tastes like a freshly picked poblano pepper–it even smells fresh and earthy. Surprisingly, the liqueur has notes of ginger along with fruits like pineapple and a slight tomato flavor.
Both Original and Verde Ancho Reyes liqueurs are quite versatile, which makes it a perfect element for cocktails. Original mixes well with brown spirits, whereas the Ancho Reyes Verde seems to mix better with clear spirits. I personally loved the Verde in a cocktail, but the flavors when sipped alone were quite pronounced.
Ancho Verde Margarita
1 part Milagro Silver Tequila
1 part Ancho Reyes Verde
1 part fresh lime juice
⅓ part agave nectar
Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice, shake hard and strain over fresh ice into a rocks glass with half its rim salted. Garnish with a lime wheel.
1.5 part Ancho Verde
0.5 part lime juice
Big pinch of salt
12 oz Mexican lager beer
Salt for rim
Rim a cold beer glass with kosher salt. Add salt, lime, ancho verde to the cold beer glass and stir to mix. Add ice and beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.
80 Proof/40% ABV
Retail price: ~$33/750mL
Ancho Reyes Verde was launched in New York in 2016 as a limited edition spirit, and it is now available in the lucky states of Texas, California, Arizona, Illinois, Colorado, and Florida.
(Recipes and select cocktail images above provided by Ancho Reyes)