Ancho Reyes Verde: A New Favorite Bottle For Fans Of Spicy Cocktails

By Carey Jones and John D. McCarthy |

© Carey Jones

In the last year or two, mixologists have fallen hard for Ancho Reyes (and so have we) — a spicy, smoky and sweet chile liqueur that adds depth and a complex spice to cocktails. So it’s welcome news that Ancho Reyes has a new bottle in town: Ancho Reyes Verde.

Though made from the same poblano chile, the Verde uses early-harvested green chiles, whereas the original uses the late-harvested ones dried in the sun. As a result, Ancho Reyes Verde is vibrant and fresh-tasting, more “green pepper” than smoky pepper — but with a heat that spicy cocktail fans will love. Give it a try in these three simple cocktails. 

Easy: Vodka-Soda-Verde

Unless you’re a die-hard pepper fan, Ancho Reyes Verde is a little tough to sip straight. So we first tried it out in a cocktail that’s as simple as possible — vodka, soda water, and a little lime — so that you can appreciate the vibrant green chile flavor in a refreshing, super-sippable form.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of vodka, 1/2 an ounce of Ancho Reyes Verde, 1/2 an ounce of simple syrup, and 3/4 ounce of fresh lime juice. Add a dash of Angostura bitters. Shake all that up, then strain into a tall glass with fresh ice. Top with 2 ounces of club soda and garnish with a few lime wheels.

Intermediate: Spicy Paloma

It’s no secret that we’re fans of the grapefruit-soda-tequila Paloma, and Ancho Reyes Verde is a brilliant addition, giving this classic drink a gentle heat that plays well with the sharp bite of tequila, with grapefruit to sweeten.

Instructions: In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 ounce of blanco tequila, 1 ounce of Ancho Reyes Verde, 1/2 an ounce of agave syrup (that’s agave nectar dissolved in an equal part of hot water), and 1 ounce of grapefruit juice. Shake all that up, then strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice. Top with 2 ounces of club soda and garnish with a grapefruit half-moon.

Advanced: Rye & Spice

In this unusual cocktail, we’re taking the template of a Manhattan — rye plus sweet vermouth — and adding tequila as well as Ancho Reyes Verde. The result is a complex, boozy cocktail where the spice plays against a warm whiskey background.

Instructions: In a mixing glass with ice, combine 1 ounce of blanco tequila, 1 ounce rye, 1/2 an ounce of Ancho Reyes Verde, 1/2 an ounce of sweet vermouth, and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters. Stir until very well-chilled, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a grapefruit twist.

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