Faust gave his soul to the devil for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures, and jazz musicians have been known to broach deals with the devil in exchange for divine skills. When you meet El Diablo at Tandem, you enter into a pact of having a debauched night. El Diablo is not just a cocktail; it is a pact with the devil…
The drink starts off with the red and white paprika-salt rim crowning a deep red flash. As your lips approach the glass you receive the first olfactory kicks of spice. “This smells like bad news,” you think. “This smells like good news,” you believe. Then your lips touch the paprika salt, and the spicy and salty work together like two good friends who want to throw a party for you and your lips. But when you taste El Diablo itself, you realize it’s more than just two friends – it’s sour with sweet and bitter with spicy. These guys are throwing a party for you, your lips and your tongue. Now, your senses are heightened, and you feel the orgasmic jolt of energy. El Diablo has possessed you.
El Diablo was created by Terry Barlett, the general manager and bartender at Tandem. El Diablo is his baby, he said, because this was the first cocktail that made him feel like he had a good drink in his hands. His drinks always manage to be simple and easy to produce, yet subtle and classy. In the case of El Diablo, honey gives the drink its body, while the six dashes of Angostura bitters bring back the sweetness and match it with the sourness of the lemon and lime juices. As if a mere afterthought, the house-infused jalapeno tequila provides a certain earthy tone with its boiling spice.
El Diablo is much more than another run of the mill margarita. It is a powerful drink with dangerous flavors that will leave you craving more.
El Diabolo is available at Tandem Bar on 236 Troutman St. and costs $10.
Buswick Mixer is our new weekly column, in which we explore the mixology of Bushwick. Do you have a tip or recommendation for an awesome cocktail? Leave us a tip in the comment section!