Mexico City is known by a few names, including México DF – the DF stands for Distrito Federal (Federal District) – or simply DF (pronounced “day effay”). It is not a part of any of Mexico’s 31 states, but rather belongs to Mexico as a whole.
Our newest cocktail is a summertime Mexican twist on the classic Manhattan – hence the name De Efe, riffing on the parallels between the two cities. This is another in the line of cocktails on our roster that are inspired by classics – in each case, we substitute tequila or mezcal for the more typically used spirit, always to interesting and delicious effect. Examples would be El Burro, which is a Mexican spin on the Moscow Mule, Abuelo Sucio, our twist on the Old-Fashioned, and Joaquin Murrieta, a south of the border Negroni.
Matthew Campbell says the initial inspiration for De Efe came when he was stealing cherries from our cook Graciela as she was pitting them for the arroz con leche dessert. Their fresh, vibrant flavor inspired him to build a drink around a garnish.
It’s a lighter take on a Manhattan, in order to not mask or override the fruit. With that in mind, an old school blanco, Purasangre (literally “pure blood”, though it means thoroughbred), was chosen. Purasangre is a brand that our good friend Jake (Cimarrón, Don Amado, etc) recently brought stateside. Continuing on the “lighter” theme, Imbue bittersweet vermouth (from Oregon) stands in for red vermouth. Tempus Fugit Crème de Cacao lends balance and body – it’s also a natural fit with the cherry. Orange bitters and grapefruit zest (peel discarded) add aromatics and some bright, acidic notes.
A variation on a theme, built backwards from the bounty of our local summer produce.
JP (with input from Matthew C)