Diablo · Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar
Imperial Fig · Short Path Distillery
1944 · Pabu
Temperatures may be falling, but this devilishly spicy cocktail from Lolita Cocina & Tequila Bar is a surefire way to bring back the heat.
The Diablo was on the Back Bay restaurant’s original opening menu eight years ago, and has remained popular since. You could credit some of that appeal to its memorable red hue, which comes courtesy of a blood orange concentrate.
“The majority of the drink’s body comes from blood orange [concentrate],” says beverage director Juan Lozano. “Fresh blood orange juice does not have the same texture to it. The concentrate is thicker, silkier.”
The drink gets a fruity boost from muddled pineapple and strawberry, lime juice, and orange liqueur. While Lolita makes its orange liqueur in-house, Lozano recommends using Combier as an easy at-home substitution.
But the Diablo’s most identifiable flavor comes from a serrano pepper-infused blanco tequila. Even if you consider yourself a seasoned spice hound, you may get a little teary-eyed from the heat it brings after those initial fruity flavors subside.
To temper the spice, you can use a 50-50 blend of pepper-infused tequila and non-infused blanco tequila, or simply add some additional blood orange concentrate to the mix. And if you’re not into spice to begin with, just skip the infusion process altogether and use blanco tequila—you’ll end up with a great blood orange margarita.
1½ ounces serrano pepper-infused blanco tequila*
1 ounce lime juice
1 ounce The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Blood Orange Concentrate
¾ ounce simple syrup
½ ounce Original Combier Triple Sec
2 quartered strawberries
1 tablespoon diced fresh pineapple
1 teaspoon 50-50 mix sugar and coarse black pepper, for rim
Lime wheel and jalapeño slice, for garnish
Add pineapple and strawberry to cocktail shaker and muddle. Add other ingredients and shake with ice until chilled. Strain mixture into rimmed rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with lime wheel and jalapeño slice.
*Serrano Pepper-Infused Blanco Tequila (yields 1 liter)
1 liter blanco tequila
5 serrano peppers, chopped
Add serrano peppers to tied cheesecloth and allow it to sit in tequila for 24 hours. After 24 hours pull out peppers, strain and rebottle tequila. Keeps up to six months.