Some good summer cocktail karma here at the farm. First we get cherries to play with, and then we stumble on a classic recipe and just happen to have all the ingredients and the drink turns out to be very, very good. And the cocktail, of course, is the El Diablo. The El Diablo is a combination of tequila, lime, crème de cassis and ginger beer served on the rocks. The El Diablo packs a lot of flavor with the sour lime, sweet Cassis and the spice of the ginger beer, but it has a light body and is quite refreshing. And the color speaks for itself (and for the name of the drink).
Surprisingly, the El Diablo is a creation of “Trader Vic” Bergeron, who is mostly known for tiki drinks. But Vic published this recipe in 1946, so it predates the Moscow Mule, a similar ginger beer-based cocktail. It is also something of a surprise to us that the El Diablo is not more popular, but not everyone has crème de cassis or ginger beer hanging around the house. But both ingredients are worthy additions to your bar.
If you are unfamiliar with creme de cassis, it is a sweet blackcurrant liqueur that is most commonly used in the Kir (white wine and a dash of Cassis) and the Kir Royale (Champagne and a dash of Cassis). Kirs are very tasty drinks, and are still popular in France as a pre-dinner apéritif. We drink Kir Royales occasionally, particularly when we want to spruce up average champagne or sparkling wine. And that red color will show through in almost any drink, as will the deep, sweet fruit of the Cassis. Good stuff, and a little goes a long way, one bottle can last for years.
As for ginger beer, it is basically the original ginger ale. It tends to be spicier and less sweet than mass-market ginger ale. A few years ago, ginger beer was hard to find. But as the Dark ‘n Stormy and Moscow Mule have reemerged with the cocktail renaissance, so has ginger beer. Ginger beer is available in most supermarkets and liquors stores and is a good substitute for ginger ale in most recipes.
We became aware of the El Diablo in a Serious Eats slideshow about the drinks at KASK, a bar in Portland. Here is their cocktail menu. (I think a trip to Portland is in order.) After some more research, we found that mixologists have played with the original recipe for years- so while the base flavors of ginger, lime and Cassis are in all recipes, the ratios can vary widely. We like a little more lime and ginger, but other recipes go heavier with the Cassis. The one constant is using 1.5- 2 oz. of blanco tequila. But feel free to play around, these are fun experiments for summer and the flavors play very well together.
The El Diablo:
- 1 and 1/2 oz. blanco tequila
- 3/4 oz. lime juice
- 1/2 oz. crème de cassis
- 3-4 oz. ginger beer (or ginger ale)
- Lime wedge or wheel, for garnish.
- Place tequila, lime juice and Cassis in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly. Strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Add ginger beer, stir lightly. Garnish with lime wedge and serve.
- Cocktails for Memorial Day: The Presbyterian / The Mamie Taylor (putneyfarm.com)
- Ginger Ale vs. Ginger Beer: What’s the Difference? (thekitchn.com)
- Crème de Cassis de Dijon: The Secret to “Kir” (formaggiokitchen.com)
- Cinco De Mayo Cocktails from Centro Cocina Mexicana (gooddaysacramento.cbslocal.com)
- Cocktails for the History Books, Not the Bar (dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com)
- 15 Fresh, Simple Cocktails for Spring Recipes from The Kitchn (thekitchn.com)
This recipe sounds like a keeper!
Thanks- it is surprisingly good. And the color is certainly a conversation starter..
Oh, yes, the color is lovely.
Sounds very nice and refreshing. Thanks for sharing. It’s a must try!
Thanks for reading. These would do well with the nachos you posted with the chuck… (just a thought…;-)
Yes! Probably great with any nacho night. 🙂
I love that this cocktail dates back to 1946! Haven’t thought of Trader Vic in a long time. Sounds really nice! Debra
Trader Vic was quite the impresario. As you get into cocktails he just keeps coming up. Quite a talent..
YUM! I know what I’m making this weekend.
Thanks- hope you like it!
Looks great! Pinning to my Cocktail Page
I can’t wait to make this! I love ginger beer and am always on the lookout for new ways to use it. This also serves as a fun excuse to buy and try some creme de cassis! Thanks–
Thanks. The Cassis is worth having for this drink and the Kir…tasty stuff…
While the original recipe calls for blanco tequila, I like that added dimension that reposado tequila brings to the mix. I wrote about this version on my blog: http://wp.me/p22sZg-4u
Good post. We agree that reposado is often a better choice than blanco for some drinks. We will trt it.
Like your blog, btw…
It really isn’t a good sign that I need one of these now. And yet it’s only noon…
It’s 5 o’clock somewhere….;-)
Thanks for reading!
Think I could use Chambord instead of Cassis?
Yes, different drink but would prolly be very good. Chambord has more depth than cassis (IMHO) but would do well with lime and ginger.
Thanks for reading.
Reblogged this on Makais Blog and commented:
Cool. Thanks for reading.
I think this needs to be done this weekend. No time for procrastination. Congrats on being freshly pressed.
Good summer weekend drink…Thanks for reading.
holy yes! a new ginger beer drink…this one’s getting mixed tomorrow night — thank you!
Thanks for reading!
Reblogged this on morethanjustbeingamom.
Definitely one drink recipe to save
mmm this looks very well. i like your blog! keep going ^^
Thanks for visiting us!
Ginger beer is now on my shopping list!
Good cocktail ingredients…all sorts of good drinks to play with.
Looks great. I Can’t wait to try this one.
OOhhh!!! This has us excited for a late afternoon BBQ cocktail choice! Thanks!!!
Thank you for reading. Much appreciated. Hope you like the drink..
Thanks for reading- it is good..
Oooo, we have all the ingredients ! And congrats on being frehsly pressed 🙂
Many thanks. We hope you enjoy the Diablo!
Fabulous – can’t wait to try!
Ahh, right now its like 30 degrees C here and its night! I so want one of these!
Thanks for reading and I hope it cools down!
This is what I’m talking about, making my mouth water. hahaha especially when its so hot out today
Thanks for reading- hope you try it and cool off..;-)
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Remember me for the old time
Sounds great! I love ginger beer.
Thanks for reading- we are really enjoying ginger beer-based cocktails this summer..
nice blog, which theme are you using ?
Thanks. ThemeMin with a bit of customization. We like the theme, it’s working for us.
Congratulation on being freshly pressed!
I’m getting my favorite bar here in Milan to make this. They have all the right ingredients. Congrats on the freshly pressed 🙂
Very cool, I hope you enjoy it (go easy on the cassis..;-)
Just tried it tonight at my bar of choice in Milano, Rita. They actually had it on their menu. Happy to report a new drink to add to the rotation 🙂
Cool- glad you liked it…
Rico y refrescante!!!
This blog reminds me just how much I love and miss Campari and soda with a wedge of fresh lime. Must go and stock the bar. Nice recipes and congrats on FP! Please go check out my blog/world. 😉
Always a good time to stock the bar…;-) Thanks for visiting, will check out your blog…
Sweet it sounds delicious and a great summer cocktail. This will help me at home as well my wife keeps saying “you drink to much beer”, now I have this as an alternative. I think that is what she meant….
Ha. Sometimes the “spirit” of the law is better than the letter of the law…a cocktail certainly isn’t a beer. (Although nothing wrong with a nice, cold beer either..;-)
I can taste this now….
Looks so great!
can’t wait to get home and try this!
Thanks- hope you enjoy it!
Nice Drink… will tryng :p
Great- hope you like it..
Was on Freshly Pressed tonight and saw your posting made it. It’s cool to see a blog I enjoy and follow regularly get the notoriety. Keep up the superb blogging.
Thanks for visiting and the kind words…we enjoy your blog as well, btw…
mmm…now I know where I’ll be heading each time I want to try a new cocktail! This one looks refreshing!
Yum, gotta try it! Nice recipies! Check my cocktail recipies on http://pourmesamis.com.br
Thanks for reading and we will definitely check out your blog!
Sounds amazing! Do you know if there is another type of liquer I can use instead of Creme de Cassis? I’t not so easy to get a hold of that brand in Norway.. 🙂
Thanks for reading.
Chambord should work. Any sweet dark red/black fruit liqueur is worth a try.
Technically without Cassis it may be a different drink, but the elements of sweet liqueur, lime and ginger (with a base spirit) is a good foundation to experiment with. Just go easy on the sweet liqueur…
Thank you, I will give it a try 🙂
Have a great day”
Reblogged this on and commented:
Definitely need to include this on the fourth of July drink list.
Reblogged this on I Wouldn't Have Missed It and commented:
My first reblog, in anticipation of tromping off to camp.
Reblogged this on Open Source Daily Source Code.
yumm! sounds great for a summer patio
Very great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing for your feed and I’m hoping you write once more very soon!
Many thanks for visiting and the kind words. Most appreciated…
We have Blenheim’s spicy ginger ale and a bottle of creme de cassis in the fridge and tequila in the liquor cabinet. El Diablo is a go!
Hope you enjoyed it…
Very tasty! We had to sub lemon for about 1/3 of the lime juice, which gave it maybe a tad more tang than we would’ve wanted, but Micah just picked up more ginger ale and limes from the store so we can make it again. It’ll be going up in a post very soon! 🙂
Glad you liked it!
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Seems delicious! I’d love some of that cocktail karma in my kitchen!
That sounds like an awesome drink. Would you ever consider throwing in some spicy peppers like a jalapeno? 🙂
Good call. Have seen a variant with peppers- just muddle and construct the rest of the drink. I would consider using reposado tequila in that version to offset some of the grassy flavors of pepper. Should be good.
BTW- Lived in Rowayton for years (still many friends/family in area). Can’t wait to read more of your blog!
Nice! :O Love the reposado touch.
Rowayton is such a beautiful place. We’d love to live there one day. Where do you live now?
Northern California these days. I miss the east coast in summer, winter, not so much… 😉
Yeah, it’s really easy to not want to be here in winter. This past winter was one of the lamest, hardly any snow winters ever.
I’ll give it a try! I am looking for ginger beer anyway for a different recipe using Mr. Pimms for an ice tea type cocktail. This sounds great and love the color. I have been experimenting with cocktails this month as Sunset Magazine had a few fun ones to try! I’m in the mode… 🙂
I think I need one of these like 15 minutes ago. Yum.
Reblogged this on Online Haven and commented:
Wish to try this out… 🙂 Or will tell my mom to try it herself!
I feel like I need to update you on this: tried it. Favorite new drink! Our grocery store can’t figure out why, suddenly, there’s an increased in demand for ginger beer, though they’re trying…(remember, I live in a very small town). Highly recommended, two very enthusiastic thumbs up.
That is awesome! Glad you are enjoying it…we served the diablo at a party recently and it was a hit…
Thanks for reading and sharing the update!
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