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El Guapo Cocktail

El Guapo

Servings 3 cups of syrup and 1 cocktail
Author Brandon Matzek

Ingredients

To make the Spiced Vanilla Syrup:

  • 1 Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean
  • 6 green cardamom pods
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/2-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups coconut sugar or white sugar
  • 1 cup water, divided

To make the cocktail:

  • 2 ounces white tequila
  • 1 ounce Spiced Vanilla Syrup
  • 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Small pinch of kosher salt
  • Reserved spices, for garnish

Instructions

  1. To make the syrup, start by cutting the vanilla bean in half width-wise, then length-wise. Scrape out the vanilla seeds and reserve. Place the vanilla bean segments in a small pot along with cardamon, allspice, clove and cinnamon, and warm over medium heat until fragrant (1 - 2 minutes). Add the sugar plus 2 tablespoons of water, stirring to combine. Let the sugar cook, stirring frequently, until it starts to caramelize (about 2 minutes)*. Stir in the rest of the water (1 cup minus 2 tablespoons), bring to a boil, and then take the syrup off the heat. Stir in the reserved vanilla seeds, cover and let cool completely. Strain into a clean jar, and reserve the strained spices.
  2. To make the cocktail, add tequila, 1 ounce Spiced Vanilla Syrup, lime juice, bitters and kosher salt to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until well-chilled. Strain into a short tumbler filled with ice, and garnish with some of the reserved spices.

Recipe Notes

* Coconut sugar is already brown, so it will be difficult to see the caramelization happening. Instead, use your nose. The sugar will start to smell warm and toasty as it begins to caramelize. If you're using white sugar, you can see the caramelization happening as the sugar turns from white to light brown.