Spicy, sweet and with a splash of juniper. That’s how we like to shake up a Hacendado cocktail down at Hacienda Petac. Or so we found out during our mixology class.
I’d traveled down to Mexico with five friends to one of my favorite properties in the world, a renovated henequen plantation. I’m not sure I can call it a resort, as you basically have to rent the whole place out, but it’s not your average house rental either.
Hacienda Petac can accomodate fourteen people, kids are welcome, and all of your meals are included. While the decor is spectacular, and the service is above par, it’s the meals that make this my happy place. Imagine going to your Mayan aunts every day to eat. That’s exactly what you are doing.
Now picture her serving you hand-craft cocktails by her private pool, and having a spa right down the path. This is why I love this place.
But I digress. We were talking about my love of gin cocktails.
During our four-day weekend at Hacienda Petac, we took a cooking class and a mixology class with the Mayan women who ran the kitchen. They taught us how to make a proper mojito (grab this super easy mojito recipe), along with a Paloma. But they saved the best for last.
At the time, I didn’t truly appreciate the nuances of this recipe. I didn’t like spicy cocktails. I was a newbie at the gin scene. Now that I’ve dabbled in mixology, and made a dive head first into the art of gin, I can appreciate the addition of fresh pepper and Chili-infused syrups.
Thankfully, my friends had no issue back then, especially after sampling three cocktails already.
We took turns shaking up this sweet and spicy pink beverage. Giggled as we learned how to make our own simple syrup, sampling slices of watermelon as we poured out an ounce of one liquid or another. Four easy ingredients and some ice cubes later and we had a new favorite for the group to hold onto by the pool.
Now it’s your turn to try. What do you think of the Hacendado cocktail? Don’t worry. It’s not as spicy as you think. The watermelon mellows it out quite nicely, and the cracked pepper adds a nice optional finish on your lips with every sip.
- ½ ounce Lime Juice
- ½ ounce Chili de Arbol infused simple syrup (see below)
- 1 ½ ounce fresh watermelon juice
- 2 ounces Gin
- Cracked pepper
- Ice cubes (large chunks of ice preferred)
Combine ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake vigoriously. Add large chunks of ice to a low ball glass. Pour cocktail into glass. Float a slice of lime on top and add cracked pepper.
Chili de Arbol-Infused Simple Syrup
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of sugar
- 6-8 dried chilies de arbol (take out the stems and seeds)
Bring ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan. Simmer for 10-15 minute (longer equals spicier!). Take off heat and let rest for about 2 hours. Strain through a coffee filter or mesh strainer. Let cool completely in the refrigerator before using.