Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Rye Whiskey Cocktails

Hot Blooded

red-hued Hot Blooded cocktail in a coupe glass, garnished with heart-shaped orange peels and lime peels on a skewer / Tim Nusog

When you think of cocktail power duos, a few combinations come to mind, like gin and dry vermouth, American whiskey and sweet vermouth, or perhaps a tropical one like rum and pineapple. Whiskey and hot sauce, however, are two ingredients that don’t immediately jump up and announce themselves as complementary bedfellows. The Hot Blooded cocktail may change your mind. It combines rye whiskey with Ancho Reyes—an ancho chile liqueur from Puebla, Mexico—plus blood orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup and hot sauce.

Rye whiskey is a cocktail go-to with a spicy bite that’s featured in classics like the Manhattan and Sazerac. Ancho Reyes is made from mature red poblano chiles, which are harvested and then left to dry in the sun, turning them into ancho chiles with a rich, smoky flavor. Things are off to a good start, but the cocktail needs balance, which comes via the two types of citrus and simple syrup.

Blood oranges, which predominantly hail from Sicily, are the most common variety of orange grown in Italy. They’re also common throughout southern Spain and the U.S., particularly in Texas and California. Depending on where they grow, blood orange season can last from November or December until the early spring. When they’re in season, bartenders and chefs flock to the flavorful fruits, which have a deeper, richer taste than Navel oranges.

Lime adds another citrusy note to the Hot Blooded cocktail, while simple syrup smooths any rough edges and provides a touch of sweetness. The kicker comes from four dashes of hot sauce, which is a large enough portion to make itself known, but not so much to overwhelm the other flavors in the drink. If you’re up for the challenge, the cocktail features a unique garnish: heart-shaped blood orange and lime peels alternated on a skewer. Those don’t make the drink taste any better, but they sure look cool. And that counts for something.


Click Play to See This Hot Blooded Cocktail Come Together


  • 2 ounces rye whiskey

  • 1/2 ounce Ancho Reyes ancho chile liqueur

  • 1/2 ounce blood orange juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed

  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup

  • 4 dashes hot sauce

  • Garnish: blood orange twist

  • Garnish: lime twist


  1. Add the rye whiskey, Ancho Reyes liqueur, blood orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup and hot sauce into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a coupe glass.

  3. Garnish with a blood orange twist and lime twist, optionally cut into heart shapes and skewered.