Drinks

El Diablo

El Diablo.

This is a classic 1940s tequila highball with crème de cassis, lime juice and ginger ale, the recipe for which was first published by Trader Vic.

50 ml Cuervo Reserva de la Familia platino tequila
15 ml Cartron crème de cassis
10 ml lime juice
50 ml Thomas Henry ginger ale

Preparation: Stir gently over ice in a highball glass.

El Diablo was first printed in “Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink” in 1946. Here, however, it is still called Mexican El Diablo. His recipe uses 60 ml tequila, 30 ml crème de cassis, about 15 ml lime juice (more precisely: half a lime, as it is squeezed and added to the glass) and an unspecified amount of ginger ale. There are various proportions, but we decided on the “Boilerman Style” as published by Jörg Meyer. [4] However, we refrain from garnishing with limes, as untreated limes are rare to acquire or very expensive.

Whether Victor Bergeron alias Trader Vic developed this drink himself or just adopted it cannot be determined. [1] Which tequila to use, a Blanco or a Reposado, is not specified in the historical recipes. Likewise, only ginger ale is used, whereas modern recipes sometimes replace it with ginger beer.

In 1953, the recipe appears as “Flamenco Dancer” in Esquire magazine. [2]

One must not confuse El Diablo with Diabolo. This was published in 1930 by William T. Boothby and is a mixture of brandy, French vermouth, a little curaçao and Angostura bitters. Trader Vic also lists this drink in 1948. Stan Jones knows of two other drinks with the same name but different recipes in 1977. We first found the name El Diablo instead of Mexican El Diablo at Patrick Gavin Duffy in 1956. In 1972 Trader Vic uses both El Diablo and Mexican El Diablo. He does not distinguish between the two, except that he serves the El Diablo with a straw. Why this drink was given the name “The Mexican Devil” or “The Devil”, respectively, can no longer be determined.

There is also a relationship to Tequila Sunrise. This is probably older than El Diablo. We don’t want to go into who invented this cocktail here. There are different opinions. Some say the original drink contained tequila, crème de cassis, lime juice and soda and was invented by Gene Sulit at the Arizone Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix, Arizona, in the 1930s or 1940s. [5] Others say that the drink would have been mixed in the 1920s at the bar of the racetrack in the Mexican town of Agua Caliente in Tijuana and would have consisted of tequila, (lemon) limeade, grenadine, crème de cassis and soda water. [6] The first printed recipe is found in 1946 in “The Roving Bartender” by Bill Kelly on page 43, using tequila, lemon juice and sugar, soda and crème de cassis. [7]

So basically you can say that El Diablo is actually a Tequila Sunrise with soda replaced by ginger ale.

El Diablo.
El Diablo.
Sources
  1. https://mixology.eu/geschichte-magazin/el-diablo-der-teuflische/: El Diablo. Der Teuflische. By Marco Beier, 23. October 2012.
  2. https://wiki.webtender.com/wiki/El_Diablo: El Diablo.
  3. http://www.alcademics.com/2009/06/history-of-the-el-diablo-cocktail-in-trader-vics-books.html: History of the El Diablo Cocktail in Trader Vic’s Books. By Camper English, 27. June 2009.
  4. http://www.jrgmyr.com/2014/07/sommer-2014-die-fantastische.html. Sommer 2014 – Die fantastische Buttermilch Margarita und fünf weitere Tequila Drinks. By Jörg Meyer, 2. July 2014.
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequila_Sunrise_(cocktail): Tequila Sunrise (cocktail).
  6. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tequila_Sunrise: Tequila Sunrise.
  7. https://mixology.eu/drinks/sonnenaufgang-fur-tequila/: Sonnenaufgang für Tequila? Eine Historie. By Peter Eichhorn, 30. December 2014.

Historical recipes

1930 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 35. Diablo.

Brandy . . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger Fr. Vermouth . . . . . . 1/3 jigger
Curacoa . . . . . . . 3 dashes Angostura . . . . . . . . 2 drops
Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add Maraschino cherry
or pimola, twist lemon peel over and serve.

1933 George A. Lurie: Here’s How. Seite 29. Diablo.

Brandy . . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger Fr. Vermouth . . . . . . 1/3 jigger
Curacoa . . . . . . . 3 dashes Angostura . . . . . . . . 2 drops
Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add
Maraschino cherry or pimola, twist lemon peel over and
serve

1930 William T. Boothby: „Cocktail Bill“ Boothby’s World Drinks. Seite 60. Diablo.

Brandy . . . . . . . . 1/3 jigger Fr. Vermouth . . . . . . 1/3 jigger
Curacoa . . . . . . . 3 dashes Angostura . . . . . . . . 2 drops
Stir well with ice, strain into chilled cocktail glass, add Maraschino cherry
or pimola, twist lemon peel over and serve.

1936 Bill Edwards: Drinks. Seite 36. Diabolo.

1 part Brandy
1 part French Vermouth
3 dashes Orange Curaçao per cocktail
2 dashes Angostura Bitters per cocktail
Squeeze a piece of lemon peel on top and serve
with a cherry or an olive.

1946 Trader Vic: Trader Vic’s Book of Food and Drink. Seite 122. Mexican El Diablo.

I hate like hell to bring up unpleasant things
at a time like this but go easy on this one because
it’s tough on your running board.
1/2 lime
1 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce creme de cassis
Ginger ale
Squeeze and drop shell of lime in a 10-ounce
glass; add cracked ice, tequila, and crème de cassis;
fill rest of glass with ginger ale.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 71. Diablo.

3/4 oz. brandy 3 dashes curaçao
3/4 oz. French vermouth 2 drops Angostura bitters
Stir with cracked ice; strain into chilled cocktail glass. Serve
with maraschino cherry.

1948 Trader Vic: Bartender’s Guide. Seite 338. Mexican El Diablo.

Juice 1/2 Lime 1 oz. tequila
. 1/2 oz. creme de cassis
Squeeze and drop shell of lime into 10-oz. glass; add cracked
ice, tequila, and crème de cassis. Fill rest of glass with ginger
ale.

1953 in ESQUIRE, December 1953, “Painting the Town” column, pg. 76, col. 3. Flamenco Dancer. [2]

Then there is another cocktail with a tequila base–the Flamenco Dancer: Juice of 1/2 large lime, 1 ounce Tequila, 1/2 ounce creme de cassis. Squeeze the lime and drop the shell in a highball glass, fill with cracked ice, add the other ingredients, stir briskly and fill with ice-cold ginger ale.

1956 Patrick Gavin Duffy: The Official Mixer’s Manual. Seite 128. El Diabolo.

1 Jigger Tequila
1/3 Jigger Crème de Cassis
1/2 Lime
Ginger Ale
Squeeze and drop the Lime into
highball glass. Add ice and other
ingredients and fill with Ginger
Ale.

1972 Trader Vic: Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide. Seite 201. El Diablo.

1/2 lime
1 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce crème de cassis
Ginger ale
Squeeze lime juice into a 10-ounce glass over ice cubes; add
spent lime shell. Add tequila and crème de cassis. Stir. Fill
glass with ginger ale. Serve with a straw.

1972 Trader Vic: Trader Vic’s Bartender’s Guide. Seite 203. Mexican El Diablo.

1/2 lime
1 ounce tequila
1/2 ounce crème de cassis
Ginger ale
Squeeze lime juice into 10-ounce glass; drop in spent shell.
Add ice cubes, tequila, and crème de cassis. Fid glass with
ginger ale.

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 268. Diabolo.

Cocktail Glass Stir
3/4 oz gin
1-1/2 oz Dubonnet
1/4 oz orgeat syrup
Cherry

Variation Shake
1-1/2 oz white port
3/4 oz dry vermouth
1/4 oz lemon juice

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 274. El Diablo.

Hiball Glass Shake
1-1/2 oz Tequila
1/2 oz creme de cassis
1/2 oz lime juice
Fill with ice, ginger ale
Lime shell

1977 Stan Jones: Jones’ Complete Barguide. Seite 338. Mexican El Diablo.

Hiball Glass Build
3/4 oz lime juice
(leave shell in glass)
1/2 oz creme de cassis
1-1/2 oz Tequila
Fill with ginger ale

2011 Helmut Adam, Jens Hasenbein, Bastian Heuser, Cocktailian 1, Das Handbuch der Bar. 2. Auflage. Seite 244. El Diablo. 4 cl Blanco Tequila; 1,5 cl Crème de Cassis; 2 Limettenviertel; Gingerale.

2011 Jim Meehan: Das Geheime Cocktail-Buch. Seite 115. El Diablo. 6 cl Siembra Azul Tequila; 3 cl Ingwerbier; 2 cl Theuriet Crème deCassis; 2 cl Zitronensaft; Garnierung: Limettenscheibe und kandierter Ingwer.

2012 Tom Sandham: World’s Best Cocktails. Seite 215.El iablo. 30 ml tequila; 3 tsp crème de cassis; 3 tsp lime juice; ginger ale.

2014 Jörg Meyer, http://www.jrgmyr.com/2014/07/sommer-2014-die-fantastische.html, El Diablo (Boilerman Style): 50 ml blanco Tequila; 15 ml Creme de Cassis; 10 ml frischer Limettensaft; 50 ml kaltes Ginger Ale; im Highball Glas auf Eis vorsichtig verrühren, Limetten Achtel zur Dekoration.

2015 Duggan McDonnell. Drinking at the Devils Acre. Seite 197. El Diablo. 60 ml tequila blanco; 30 ml lime juice; 90 ml ginger beer; 15 ml crème de cassis.

2016 André Darlington & Tenaya Darlington: The New Cocktail Hour. Seite 115. El Diablo. 60 ml reposado tequila (Corralejo); 15 ml crème de cassis; 22 ml lime juice; 90 to 120 ml ginger beer; garnish: lime wheel; chili-salt rim (1 teaspoon sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper).

2016 Jamie Boudreau & James O. Fraioli: The Canon Cocktail Book. Seite 157. El Diablo. 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila; 3/4 ounce crème de cassis; 3/4 ounce lime juice; 3 ounces ginger beer; garnisch: lime wege.

2016 Martin Cate: Smuggler’s Cove. Seite 43. Mexican El Daiblo. 1 lime wedge; 1/2 ounce lime juice; 1/2 ounce crème de cacao; 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila; 4 ounces ginger ale.

2017 Jim Meehan: Meehan’s Bartender Manual. Seite 290. El Diablo. 2 oz. Siembra Azul reposado teqila; 1 oz. ginger wort; 0,25 oz. lemon juice; 0,5 oz. Giffard crème de cassis; garnish: 1 lemon wheel, 1 piece of candied ginger, 1 blackberry.

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About

Hi, I'm Armin and in my spare time I want to promote bar culture as a blogger, freelance journalist and Bildungstrinker (you want to know what the latter is? Then check out "About us"). My focus is on researching the history of mixed drinks. If I have ever left out a source you know of, and you think it should be considered, I look forward to hearing about it from you to learn something new. English is not my first language, but I hope that the translated texts are easy to understand. If there is any incomprehensibility, please let me know so that I can improve it.

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