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El Chavo

el chavo

A rich vanilla-cardamom syrup adds a fragrantly spiced edge to this tequila cocktail from Berkeley-based bartender Matthew Campbell.

2 oz. blanco tequila
1 oz. vanilla-cardamom syrup
1 oz. fresh lime juice
1 heavy dash Angostura bitters
Small pinch kosher salt
Tools: shaker, strainer, fine strainer
Glass: margarita
Garnish: large pinch toasted coconut shavings

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to chill. Double strain into a margarita that’s glass filled with crushed ice and garnish.

Vanilla-Cardamom Syrup
20 oz. evaporated cane sugar
10 oz. water
1 1/2 oz. cacao nibs
6-8 whole cardomom pods
2 whole cloves
4 whole allspice berries
1 vanilla bean, split
1/2-in. cinnamon stick

Add the spices and vanilla to a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and heat until fragrant. Add the sugar and 1 oz. of water, stirring constantly until slightly caramelized. Add the remaining water and continue stirring until dissolved.  Increase the heat and bring to a brief boil, then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Strain into a glass jar and keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Matthew Campbell, Berkeley, California

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