Tulum · Atlántico
Five Festive Winter Cocktail Recipes
Improved Contrarian · Ivory Pearl
You might not be visiting Tulum, a destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, anytime soon. But you can visit new South End restaurant Atlántico to have a cocktail named in its honor.
This drink combines an orange bell pepper-infused blanco tequila with Aperol and a pair of fruit juices. Bar manager Gabe Bellegard Bastos says he chose peppers for the infusion due to their vegetal sharpness and sweetness.
There’s also a duo of demerara and simple syrups for sweetening, which is a bit unusual. But Bastos has his reasons: Simple syrup is thinner, and if used alone, it would leave the drink lacking in body; by contrast, demerara is rounder and richer, and using it exclusively would add too much sweetness.
Another curious aspect is a smoked paprika seasoning, which Bastos makes by mixing equal amounts of smoked paprika and sugar with a touch of sea salt. This seasoning, which is sprinkled on the edge of the drink’s pineapple triangle garnish, helps balance the sweetness from the pineapple juice while drawing out the earthy notes of the pepper-infused tequila.
The final product is a real looker—an aspect it shares with its namesake.
“Tulum, the beach, is a hot spot for beautiful people,” Bastos says. “So it made sense to name the bold, popular tequila drink with all the beautiful garnishes after it.”
1½ ounces orange bell pepper-infused tequila*
1½ ounces soda water
½ ounce Aperol
¾ ounce pineapple juice
¼ ounce lime juice
¼ ounce simple syrup
¼ ounce demerara syrup
Pineapple triangle, for garnish
2 pineapple leaves, for garnish
Pinch of smoked paprika seasoning (1:1 smoked paprika and sugar with a dash of sea salt), for garnish
Add tequila, Aperol, juices, and syrups to a shaker without ice and briefly shake to combine. Add soda water to a highball glass, then pour in the contents of the shaker. Fill glass with cubed ice and garnish with pineapple triangle and pineapple leaves. Sprinkle enough smoked paprika seasoning to cover the edge of the pineapple triangle.
Orange Bell Pepper-Infused Tequila
750ml blanco tequila
2 orange bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
Combine tequila and peppers in a container, seal, and allow mixture to infuse for 4 days before straining out peppers. Keeps indefinitely.