Served from a bottle that one would swear came straight from the medicine cabinet of a French socialite in 1910, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur is a testament to Mexico's dedication to both booze and spice. The poblano chiles are hand-selected based on size, color, and humidity, before going through a six-monthmaceration process.
The result of the process gives us a bronze drink that's surprisingly sweet and spicy with a hints of tamarind, plum, cacao, apple, and almonds. Ancho Reyes was conceived during Mexico's roaring '20s, in which (spanish-speaking) bohemians dreamed up new and exciting ways to drink and make art.
The 40% ABV is dynamic in the sense you can take it on the rocks, straight, or nestled within the loving arms of a cocktail. It's a total wildcard—like Lethal Weapon-era Mel Gibson, but without all the anti-semitism. You can use Reyes Chile in place of non-alcoholic mixers, like soda or sugar-heavy juice. This stuff's got bite, along with historical significance.
You can throw it in a glass with gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg whites for an exotic take on the whiskey sour or use it as a chaser. Whatever floats your boat. I tried it straight-up and was pleasantly surprised with how the spicy poblano chile taste did the flamenco with the cinnamon and cacao.
It was like there was a fiesta in my mouth and everyone was invited. I wanted to clang those little finger-symbols together with every sip. What are those called? Can somebody Google that for me?
Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and sometimes eats lunch outside.