Tequila often gets a bad rap for its association with shots, excessive partying and the resulting hangover. Dobel Tequila, multi-aged and distilled from 100% blue agave, is changing that. It's a premium sipper and the dynamics of this refined spirit lend well to cocktails and creativity. We sat down with Juan Arboleda at TriBeCa's Los Americanos, where he whipped up something exclusively for CH. The aptly titled Fuego Blanco cocktail not only demonstrates Dobel's ability to play nicely with other ingredients—like egg whites and absinthe—but also delivers a drink that's rich and textured enough for the coldest winter days.
1.5 oz. Dobel tequila
3/4 oz. lime juice
1/2 oz. jalapeño rosemary simple syrup
1 egg white
First, if you don't have jalapeño rosemary simple syrup, it's very easy to make at home but it takes advanced preparation—a day, in fact. Bring water to a boil and add two parts sugar, allowing it to dissolve completely. After it cools and thickens, bottle the syrup and add a jalapeño pepper and a few sprigs of rosemary. Allow it to sit for 24 hours. The infusion process is that easy and yields a complex, sweet and spicy mixer.
The Fuego Blanco process begins with a fiery prep. In a coupe glass, pour more than enough absinthe to swirl a rinse across the inside surface. Angle the glass, light the absinthe on fire and continue to swirl gently and with caution. This allows the scent of anise to glaze the glass. Douse the fire with a cup of ice cubes and set it aside. While the glass chills, combine the tequila, lime juice and jalapeño rosemary simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with a fresh egg white and shake.
When your cocktail is well-shaken, dump the ice from the glass and double strain the entire concoction into it. The double straining prevents clumping and allows for a fluffy, even froth. Garnish the surface with the bitters, for both additional flavor and an artistry of presentation to match that of the drink.
All of the components service each other. The lime is a natural compliment to tequila. The pepper and rosemary of the syrup bolster the consistency while adding spicy notes to the smooth reposado, añejo, and extra-añejo blend. The egg white delivers a depth to the mouthfeel and even pulls in notes from the rinse and cocktail. It's a powerful, mature tequila cocktail fit for a superior base liquor.
Photos by David Graver