Spanish Harlem Cocktail

Sophisticated and Easy Spanish Harlem Martini Cocktail Recipe
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  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

In the Spanish Harlem, añejo tequila and sweet vermouth meet to form a fascinating cocktail that's perfect for dinner. The drink is the tequila version of the Manhattan and a better use for aged tequila than the dry vermouth pairing found in the tequini.

This particular recipe is courtesy of Corrido Tequila. It's a fine tequila that's reasonably priced and a really nice addition to any bar. The añejo is rested for 18 months, first in used bourbon barrels, then in barrels that held other styles of whiskey. This double-barrel method gives it a distinct character not found in many other tequilas.

And yet, the Spanish Harlem is such an impressive cocktail that you'll want to use it to explore any tequila. Just like the Manhattan is a great test for new-to-you whiskeys and the martini is a perfect test for gin, this can be your go-to recipe for any reposado or añejo tequila you come across!

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces añejo tequila (Corrido)
  • 1/2 ounce sweet vermouth
  • Dash of bitters
  • Garnish: maraschino cherry

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a mixing tin or cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the tequila, sweet vermouth, and bitters.

  3. Stir with a bar spoon until chilled (about 30 seconds).

  4. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

  5. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Treat this cocktail like a Manhattan or martini and adjust the tequila-vermouth ratio to suit your taste. You may even find that some tequilas are best with more sweet vermouth.
  • Though liquor-only cocktails like this are often stirred, shake this one up if you prefer.
  • Make sure your sweet vermouth is fresh! If you have to dust off the bottle, it's time for a replacement because the fortified wine has a shelf life of just three months once opened.
  • The bitters are undefined in this recipe, though aromatic bitters (e.g., Angostura) is a natural choice. You can also try orange bitters or have fun experimenting with other flavors to give the drink a unique accent.
  • As long as you're upgrading each ingredient, don't forget about the garnish. Skip the neon red maraschinos that are so common and seek out a jar of real maraschino cherries that have not been bleached and dyed or make your own. Fresh cherries are perfect when in season, and an orange twist is a good alternative.

Recipe Variation

If there is a tequila martini that could be made "perfect," this would be the recipe to choose over the tequini. Aged tequila is a better pairing for the two vermouths than a blanco tequila. If you'd like to try it, pour 2 ounces of añejo tequila and 1/2 ounce each of dry vermouth and sweet vermouth.

How Strong Is a Spanish Harlem?

Just like any cocktail in the martini family, the Spanish Harlem is not a light drink! When made with 80 proof tequila, its alcohol content will be around 29 percent ABV (58 proof). That's just a little weaker than a straight shot of the tequila, so take it easy with this one.