Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chalino Special

This week's Greatest Drink In The World comes from sunny Mexico, where Tequila is the standard, and the Margarita rules the roost. Sitting unfairly in its shadow, however, is the Chalino Special.

The Recipe:

Into a cocktail shaker full of ice add

- a dash of Chambord,
- the juice from half a fresh lemon
- the juice from half a fresh lime
- a dash of simple syrup, (sugar,)

- Shake, ("la sacudida")

- Strain into a large martini glass

- garnish with a slice of lemon AND a slice of lime

Joe's Notes: The Chalino Special is yet again a combination of quality liquors and fresh ingredients. The use of fresh lemons and limes gives this drink a refreshing and distinctive flavor. For a time the Chalino Special was wrongfully believed to be named after the very popular and tragic immigrant/musician Chalino Sanchez. It was thought that a Chalino Special referred to the infamous shootout on stage between Sanchez and members of his audience.

Rather the Chalino special is yet another example of a drink produced during Prohibition. During this time, tequila flowed quite easily over the Mexican border. However, it was not a very popular drink with the citizens of the U.S., and it was up to the mixoligists of the period to make this fiery drink a little more palatable. A young barkeep named Chalino in California came up with this rather fine cocktail. It is a tribute to his talents that the Chalino Special is still popular today. He deserves both the clarification and recognition.

Chris's notes: The tequila really is what holds the drink together. You can taste it quite plainly, but the powerful tart of the lemon and lime and the wide sweet of the sugar and Chambord take the sting out of it.
All about balance. That what this drink is. The tart of the lemon/lime is in proportion to both the sweet of the Chambord and the sharpness of the tequila, so that the three are in perfect harmony , flavor-wise. Each element somehow comes through to complement one another. This here is a good Margarita alternative, one with the black raspberry depth and richness of Chambord.

Since Cabo Tequila is the Sammy Hagar brand, I felt it only fair to include the video to his song, "Mas Tequila!"

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