El Diablo

Published On September 5, 2012 | By Brian Samuels | Cocktails, Tequila

Tequila is my preferred drink of choice.  Yup, there it is.  That look telling me you think I’m insane.  What, too many crazy nights in college followed by quality time in front of the porcelain god?  Did you vow never to bring a shot of tequila to your lips again?

You know, I once had that problem.  It wasn’t tequila, though… it was gin.  Don’t ask.  Please… don’t.  I care to forget that night (It’s all rather fuzzy anyway).  You know what, though?  I got over it.  After a few years, I gave it another shot. And it wasn’t immediately my cup of booze, but time (and many, many more gin and tonics) healed my wounds.

We’re not here to talk about gin, though (that will come in a future post).  Let’s get back to the topic at hand: tequila.

So, you may all be wondering why?  Why the heck would tequila be my favorite liquor?  Well, there are two reasons.  I want whatever I’m drinking to have personality and, in the case of tequila, the flavors are quite pronounced. The first taste packs a mighty punch (yeah, it burns a little), but its complexity requires repeated testing, making it an interactive experience (Sip. What am I getting there? Sip. Oak? Sip. Vanilla? Sip. Caramel?  Ok. Now the bottle’s gone. Good night).  It’s hard to find a vodka or gin you can say the same about (note: I’m not proclaiming that they don’t exist… just harder to come by).

Tequila also holds up wonderfully in cocktails.  Even in a mixed drink, where sweet ingredients like ginger beer or triple sec or tropical fruit juices are used, it still stands strong.  The fact that the tequila can take all of these imposing flavors and maintain a prominent spot is a testament to its greatness.

Any form of citrus – lime, orange, grapefruit – complements the tequila’s smokiness.  You’re not trying to disguise it, but when you’re creating a cocktail, the key is to create balance.

Most folks have given the old margarita or Tequila Sunrise a try, so I wanted to give everyone something a little different. Have you ever heard of a Moscow Mule?  No? Until recently, I hadn’t either.  At some point last year, I was at a bar on a particularly hot day and I was thinking, “Hey, a margarita would be great right about now.  But, you know what?  I’m tired of ordering the same thing over and over again.”  So, the bartender (apparently a mind reader) flashed me his charming smile, stepped away and came back a few minutes later, holding a shiny copper mug.  ”What is it?” I asked.

And that’s when I was introduced to the El Diablo (“The Devil”), a take on the Moscow Mule (vodka, ginger beer, lime).  The vodka was replaced with tequila and a little creme de cassis (a liqueur made with blackcurrants) was added, giving it a lovely rouge color.  Very quickly, I became hooked.  It’s completely refreshing, but there’s a constant heat from the ginger beer that lingers in every sip, leaving a pleasant tingle on your tongue.  What can I say, I like a drink that bites back a little.


Brian Samuels is the writer and photographer for the blog A Thought For Food.

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About The Author

Brian Samuels
is the man that keeps this club running. He is a co-founder and Editor in Chief of The Boys Club and blogger at A Thought for Food. Brian on twitter @myfoodthoughts.

27 Responses to El Diablo

  1. I think I am beginning to be addicted to drinks.. not that I don’t drink them. Looks like this week will be a happy week for me. Can’t wait for the weekends right now to have a slumber party plus drinks and desserts with the gals. Congrats too on this new journey! You guys rock!! Cheers~

  2. Yikes, this would put me under the table, but my hubby would love it!

  3. I am completely and hopelessly a girl drink drunk, but I will drink just about anything with ginger beer in it. The spicier the better!

  4. Yup I gave that crazy look when you said tequila. Cause I only remember shots and shots of it…never really “enjoying” or “savoring” it. That’s what adults do…LOL. This sounds amazing Brian!

  5. TidyMom says:

    I wish I was more of a drinker…….I think I could love this!

  6. Stacey says:

    I like a drink that bites back! Love the fab images and this really does sound good.

  7. MikeVFMK says:

    I get the tequila love. I do. I used to make that face when I drank tequila until an old boss of mine sat there one night sipping away. He said it’s not a drink to shoot, but a drink to savour. So he would sip at it and enjoy the nuances of a good tequila.

    Love this drink! And post. I guess I’m biased.

  8. Russell says:

    Yesss. While I must admit tequila is the quickest way to get my pants off (in a clean, PG way of course), I have such a soft spot for it and the delicious cocktails it can make. Scrumptious!

  9. Next time we see each other Brian, we need to drink tequila – not bourbon. :) I love it too. Still laughing at Russell’s comment about “quickest way to get my pants off..” That’s the magic of tequila! :)

    Beautiful post!

  10. Simply gorgeous! I’m so glad you started this site!

  11. Tequila and I have had a rocky past but perhaps I should give it another chance after seeing this…

  12. Kristen says:

    I need to know where in the world you picked up those gorgeous glasses!
    Jaden from Steamy Kitchen got me hooked on really good tequila on a blog trip we went on. This cocktail looks fantastic!

    • Brian says:


      A boy never shares spills his secrets… ok, fine… I got them from a friend who has a bar (yes, I am sneaky… but very, very smart). They’re copper Moscow Mule mugs that you can find on Ebay or Amazon. You can typically find them for $15-$25/mug, though some of the older ones are a lot more expensive.


  13. I LOOOOOVE and [totally miss] Tequila! this cocktail, brilliant.

  14. Oooo! Moscow Mules are my Fave! Something about the mug. I never thought to replace the vodka. I love this recipe! You are totally right, you can only drink so many margaritas!

  15. I am totally drooling! I have to make this for my husband and myself this weekend. Love the new site!

  16. Lora says:

    Those mugs are so cool! Definitely the diablo is a drink that is muy peligroso for me-so I will let you drink one for me:)

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  18. Mary Ellen Weber says:

    where do I find “ginger beer” and what exactly is it? I think I tasted it at an impromptu cocktail hour when I was a volunteer at a local arts festival. We always tried to find a corner to celebrate when we had the festival up and running smoothly.

  19. Likelii says:

    Would this work with an anejo?

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