A few weeks ago I started seeing bottles of Ancho Reyes floating around in Instagram. Although this product isn’t new, it was the first I had seen of it and I was intrigued. I love spicy foods, and I could see so many applications for a cocktail ingredient like this. Living in Toronto, it can be hard to get some specialty liqueurs – although this has definitely been improving, I spotted Creme de Violette last month! But I was surprised when I my search of Ancho Reyes in the LCBO came back with results (just the original though, not the verde – can’t win ’em all!). So I went out and grabbed a bottle as soon as I could.

Before trying Ancho Reyes in a cocktail, I wanted to try it on it’s own first. Although it’s a liqueur, it’s bottled at 40% alcohol, so keep that in mind when mixing. In the glass it’s a deep caramel, with notes of smoke, spice and root beer. When I first tasted it, I found it to be slightly bitter, with some spice and sweetness coming in afterwards. The bottle also lists flavours of cinnamon and cacao, which makes me curious to see how this would fare in a flip.

The bottle came with a recipe book. I already had it in my head to try this in a spicy daiquiri or a spicy margarita, so I wasn’t surprised to see those recipes in there. But I was intrigued by a recipe called ‘Estridentista’. In it, the Ancho shines alongside dry vermouth.

Overall, really impressed with this product and happy to have it as an addition on my shelf! I can’t wait to mix up some more spicy cocktails 🌶 🍸