Chipilo Cocktail

This bright, tequila-based aperitif is perfect for your next dinner party.

Adam Montgomerie, Hawksmoor Cocktail, Chipilo Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 5 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins

At Hawksmoor's New York City outpost, bar manager Adam Montgomerie is known for updating classic cocktails with thoughtful, surprising twists. A few of our favorites include the Apple Martini, which calls for eau de vie instead of apple liquer and sour mix, and a Sour Cherry Negroni that makes use of Martini Rubio vermouth for added complexity. The Chipilo is a Hawksmoor-ified version of a classic White Negroni, and calls for Mijenta Tequila instead of the classic gin.

Adam Montgomerie, Hawksmoor Cocktail, Chipilo Cocktail

Matt Taylor-Gross

"The lime leaf tincture pairs really nicely with the agave flavor from the tequila, and the addition of some acidity from the verjus keeps everything light and fresh, making the drink an ideal aperitif," Montgomerie explains. If you haven't been incorporating verjus — which is made from pressing unripe grapes that are typically harvested at the beginning of the growing season — into your cocktails, the Chipilo cocktail is a great place to start. Montgomerie suggests using a blanc verjus, like this option from New York-based Wolffer Estate, which plays nicely with dry vermouth.

While it might seem daunting to make a tincture for this drink, all you'll need is vodka here are a few of the best bottles of vodka to have on hand, if your bar cart needs a refresh — and some dried makrut lime leaves, which are easy to find online. — Oset Babür-Winter


Lime leaf tincture

  • 10 grams makrut lime leaves

  • 6 3/4 ounces vodka

Saline solution

  • 100 milliliters water

  • 10 grams salt

Chipilo cocktail

  • 1 1/2 ounces Mijenta Tequila blanco tequila

  • 3/4 ounce Luxardo Bitter Bianco

  • 1 ounce dry vermouth

  • 1/2 ounce Verjus blanc

  • 1 dash saline solution

  • 2 dashes lime leaf tincture


Make lime leaf tincture

  1. In a airtight container, combine dried makrut lime leaves and vodka for 2 1/2 hours at room temperature. Strain and bottle. This tincture will keep for up to 3 months in the refrigerator.

Make saline solution

  1. In a clear container, stir together salt and water at room temperature until dissolved.

Make Chipilo cocktail

  1. Add Luxardo Bitter Bianco, Mijenta blanco tequila, verrmouth, verjus blanc, saline solution, and lime leaf tincture to a mixing glass filled with ice, and and stir until combined.

  2. Strain over a ice block in a rocks glass and garnish with a dried lime leaf.

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