Celebrate Dia de los Muertos With This Refreshing Tequila Cocktail

Katie Sweeney

Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Latin holiday that originated in Mexico as a way of celebrating those who have passed away. The two days of commemoration take place November 1 and 2 of each year and involve homemade altars that are decorated with beloved items of the deceased. Although some of the symbols associated with Dia de los Muertos are also associated with Halloween, the meanings are very different. Skeletons and cemeteries are seen as scary on Halloween, but for Dia de los Muertos, they are joyful. Adults and children honor the celebration by visiting the grave sites of loved ones and remembering humorous stories about their lives. 

Even Mexican restaurants get in on the holiday by serving up special menus. At Copita Tequileria y Comida, Joanne Weir’s upscale Mexican eatery in Sausalito, California, the restaurant mixes up a special Dia de los Muertos cocktail. The Espíritu (the spirit) is a well-balanced mixture of tequila, Campari, guava juice, and St. Germain. What gives this beverage a flavorful and spicy finish is a generous sprinkling of smoky habanero ash. Wondering how it’s made? Here, Copita’s bar manager, Jesse Bennet, shares the exclusive recipe for this potent Espíritu cocktail.

Cocktail ingredients:

1 oz. tequila

1/2 oz. Campari

1/2 oz. St. Germain

2 oz. guava juice

1/2 oz. lime

1/2 oz. agave

Directions for cocktail:

Combine all ingredients. Garnish with a lime wheel and habanero ash on the rim.

Habanero ash ingredients:

 10 habanero chile peppers

Directions for habanero ash:

Bake habanero chilis at 400°F until charred, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to food processor. Process to ash.

I recommend making this cocktail with Espolón Blanco

How do you celebrate Dia de los Muertos?

Opening Image:  Wes Rowe

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