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Introducing Ancho Reyes Verde

Five recipes featuring the new green chile liqueur

by CH Contributor
on 01 September 2016

A few years ago Ancho Reyes hit the market and became an instant cult classic—a game-changing spicy liqueur that drinks beautifully on its own, and goes along swimmingly with other spirits including its cousins, tequila and mezcal. With much anticipation, Ancho Reyes has released a limited edition second product, Ancho Reyes Verde, a green chili liqueur that is sure to become another favorite, especially for those who hail from the southwest and grew up eating green chili every meal. Much like southwestern chili, Verde is made from chili peppers harvested in late August before they turn vibrant red from more time in the sun. The green Ancho peppers have a more bright and vegetal flavor than sun-ripened red peppers, which become sweeter with more time on the vine. These flavors are directly translated into each spirit. The Ancho Reyes Verde is bright, herbal, and spicy, with fresh-from-the-garden flavors compared to the sweet and caramelized spice of the Originale.

"What I think is really cool and incredible, is that you are using the same raw material and you are gaining a very different experience," says Ancho Reyes co-founder Iván Saldaña, "This is because chilies change so much. When they are green they are fresh, herbal, and they have a higher content of organic acids, so they feel crisp and fresh, kind of like a white wine. But when they are ripened and sun dried, all the chemistry changes. The organic acids become sweet sugars and the herbaceous elements become fruity, and spicier, older."

What is the best way to use each liqueur? "Use Verde in cocktails with white spirits and Originale with brown spirits," says Ancho Reyes brand ambassador Shem Blum. The freshness of the green chile liqueur will go beautifully with your silver tequila margarita or even a piquant gimlet. For those looking for easy inspiration, we have five cocktail recipes created by the Bon Vivants for Ancho Reyes Verde—starting with quite the spicy offering, the El Rey de Reyes, a combination of both Verde and Originale.

El Rey de Reyes

1 part Ancho Reyes Verde
1 part Ancho Reyes Original
1 part fresh lime Juice
1/3 part rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar:water)
Small pinch salt
1 dash Angostura
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake hard and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Ancho Verde Margarita

1 part Milagro Silver Tequila
1 part Ancho Reyes Verde
1 part fresh lime juice
¼ 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.

Ancho Gimlet

1 part Ancho Reyes Verde
1 part Hendricks gin
1 part lime
1/2 part rich simple syrup (2:1 sugar:water)
Slice of cucumber
Add all ingredients to shaker, add ice and shake hard to chill and dilute. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a cocktail coupe, garnish with a cucumber wheel.

VerdeChelada

1.5 part Ancho Verde
.5 part lime juice
Big pinch of salt
12 oz Mexican lager
Salt for rim
Rim a cold beer glass with salt. Add other salt, lime and Ancho Verde to the cold beer glass and stir to mix. Add ice and add beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Maria Verde

1 part Ancho Reyes Verde
1.5 part Reyka vodka
.5 part lime
5 part Maria Verde mix*
Pickled varrot, pickled onion and pickled jalapeno
Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice, shake briefly to mix, and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a thinly sliced lime wheel and the vegetable escabeche on a skewer. To make an at-home Maria Verde mix, here's the aforementioned Blum's recipe:

1 large english cucumber peeled and seeded
1/2 avocado
1 rib of celery
1 thin wheel of white onion
1/2 serrano chili seeded and de pithed
4 oz water
1/2 lime
1/2 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp celery salt
Add all ingredients to a blender, puree until fully blended and smooth. Strain through a mesh strainer.

Ancho Reyes Verde is available in New York now for $32.99.

Tasting photos by Emily Arden Wells, all other images are courtesy of William Grant. Emily Arden Wells is the Editor and Founder of the cocktail and travel blog Gastronomista.

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