Summon El Diablo Cocktail for Halloween!

Posted by Jay Jordan on
WSET 2, Certified Beer Server, Certified Specialist of Spirits, Certified Bourbon Professional

When the last leaves are hanging in the trees and you feel the crisp bite in the air all the way in your bones you know it's that time of year again.

That time when the space between the living and the dead gets a little smaller and we, the living, dress up as the dead and join in the fun. I mean, why are those skeletons always dancing if they’re not having fun? This halloween season we are offering you a drink named after the prince of darkness himself. El Diablo.

El Diablo is a cocktail that first showed up on the menu of the legendary Trader Vic’s cocktail menu sometime in the 1940s. While it never quite gained the legendary status of some of Trader Vic’s other drinks, like the Mai Tai, it is still a delicious drink. It also has the advantage of being fairly simple to make.

What's in an "El Diablo"? 

This devilishly good cocktail is perfect for the season. It is a tequila based drink which means it has all those funky earthy and vegetal flavours that are great for fall. That is balanced with blood red berry flavour in the creme de cassis and brightened up with a bit of lime juice. It finishes with a little spicy heat to help shake off that chill running down your spine.

El Diablo cocktail sat atop a bed of moss and mushrooms in very dim lighting, with a red anjou pear slice perched on it's right side, and a whole side of the glass covered in red pepper & sugar rim.

The other thing that is great about this cocktail is that it is easily adapted to make a non-alcoholic variation. Simply substitute the creme de cassis for a good quality grenadine and use a good ginger ale with a little spice. Phillips Spitfire Ginger Ale is a great option for a locally made ginger ale.

It's a Pitcher Perfect Party Drink!

This is also an easy drink to scale up and make in a pitcher or a punchbowl. We’ve included directions for making a bigger batch as well. That way you’ll have plenty of refreshment for when you need a break from all that summoning things, dancing around the bonfire and whatever other nefarious deeds you have planned.

El Diablo Cocktail

El Diablo finished cocktail with an anjou red pear wedge



Build the cocktail in a collins glass filled with ice. Pour in tequila and lime juice and top with ginger ale. Slowly drizzle creme de cassis over top so that the blood red liquid slowly oozes down inside the glass. The original garnish is with a lime wedge, but we invite you to choose a more temptatious fruit you have available! 

To Make a Pitcher:
El Ángel (Non-Alcoholic Version)
  • ½  ounce grenadine
  • ½  ounce lime juice
  • 1 bottle of Phillips Spitfire Ginger Ale
  • Garnish with a lime wedge (or get creative with a red anjou pear!)
Espolon Resposado tequila botte

Espolon Reposado

Made solely with blue agave from the Los Altos region of Jalisco, Mexico, aged for six months in oak barrels, this shines a golden amber colour. Filled with inviting aromas of spice and caramel fudge. It's a tasteful burn in the El Diablo.

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Creme de cassis bottle

Odd Society Creme De Cassis

This blackcurrant liqueur is a French classic and often served as a digestif or in cocktails. Its dark, deep red makes for the perfect dash of horror to our cocktail.

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