Tequila, citrus, ginger go into refreshing Pinewood cocktail

The El Diablo from The Pinewood / Photo contributed to 10 Apart Hospitality

From the menu … The Pinewood, 254 West Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur; 404-373-5507; pinewoodtr.com

The Pinewood is a wonderful place to go and have drinks and appetizers at the bar. One of my favorite drinks to order is their El Diablo, a refreshing cocktail that is perfect for welcoming summer. Do you think that they would share their recipe? — Danielle Carter, Atlanta

Glad to share their recipe, the folks behind the bar at The Pinewood are steeped in cocktail lore. Julian Goglia, beverage director for The Pinewood told us all about the El Diablo. “The El Diablo is in the family of Buck cocktails and consists of tequila, fresh lime juice, blackcurrant liqueur and ginger ale. It dates to at least the mid-1940s. The oldest recipe I’ve seen was in ‘Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink’ by Trader Vic, published in 1946.”

For those of us not as familiar with cocktail history, “Buck” cocktails are also called “mule” cocktails and generally include ginger ale or ginger beer and citrus.

The restaurant juices 60 to 90 pounds of fresh ginger every week and uses that to make their ginger syrup. For us, they provided a ginger syrup recipe that works for those without a home juicer or access to fresh ginger juice. You could also skip the ginger syrup and use ginger ale instead of soda water to fill out the glass.

Goglia quoted from Luis Villazon when explaining why they add a little salt water to the cocktail. “Salt is used as a universal flavor improver because at low concentrations it will reduce bitterness, but increase sweet, sour and umami, which is desirable for sweet recipes. But at higher concentrations it suppresses sweetness and enhances umami, which is good for savory things. It’s also easily obtained in a pure form without any interfering flavors.”

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