Sometimes the hardest part of this job is coming up with cocktail names that aren’t already in circulation. There are already drinks named, “Tequila Sunrise”, “Tequila Sunset”, “Sunscorched”, “The Sun Also Rises”, “Pink Sunset”, “Sundowner”, I could go on.
I wanted this drink to have “sun” in the name because the ombré pink hue with the frothy egg white on top reminded me of a stunning Caribbean sunset with wispy clouds streaking through it.
I want to start off by acknowledging that, in premise, this drink *probably* sounds disgusting. Reposado tequila, cassis (blackcurrant liqueur), crème de cacao, lime juice, and hibiscus syrup – all vigorously shaken with an egg white for a foamy finish.
If you left out the crème de cacao (the notable outlier) and the hibiscus syrup, you’d be looking at something fairly similar to an El Diablo. I can’t explain why this works as well as it does, it just does.
I’m going to try this again but kick it up a notch by doing a cardamom and coffee infusion on the tequila first. Should that experiment prove successful, I’ll update this recipe with that option, for those of you feeling extra.
If you don’t have hibiscus tea or can’t be bothered to go to the effort of making this syrup, swap it out for agave syrup, honey, or simple syrup.
Aside from cocktail creativity, one of the elements of my work I’ve been focusing on this year is levelling up my photography. I’ve been experimenting with a new off-camera flash set-up and employing techniques like bouncing and flagging to shape the light.
When I see a cocktail/food image that I’m inspired by, I try my hand at recreating it. Earlier this week I found an image on Pinterest with a cocktail glass precariously perched on the edge of a countertop with the camera aiming up at the drink to create a heroic vantage point.
I pulled inspiration from that set-up to style this shoot. I’ve found this is one of the best ways to challenge my understanding of light and composition and achieve new images.
Similarly, even if you don’t have all the ingredients I’ve used here, draw on this recipe as inspiration. You could try swapping cassis for raspberry liqueur, leave out the egg white if you’d prefer, and change-up the sweetener or infuse the tequila to get creative.
In any event, I hope you’ll give this a go as part of our “Getaway in a Glass” series that I’ll be keeping up for the rest of the month!
Tears of the Sun: Tequila Cocktail
- 1½ oz reposado tequila
- ½ oz crème de cassis
- ¼ oz crème de cacao
- ¼ oz hibiscus syrup
- ¾ oz lime juice
- 1 egg white or 3/4 oz aquafaba
- Garnish: dehydrated blood orange wheel
- 2 hibiscus teabags
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup sugar
Add all ingredients except garnish to a cocktail shaker. Dry shake (without ice) for 15-20 seconds. Add ice, shake again.
Strain into a rocks glass over one large ice cube. Garnish with dehydrated blood orange wheel.
Steep hibiscus teabags in 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes. Pour into a small saucepan with sugar. Simmer over medium heat for a few minutes until sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature and strain into an airtight container. Syrup will keep in your fridge for 2-3 weeks.