Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Tequila & Mezcal Cocktails

Persephone’s Elixir

red-hued Persephone's Elixir cocktail in a highball glass
Image:

Liquor.com / Tim Nusog

In Greek mythology, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter. She became the queen of the underworld for a spell, and some believed that her absence from the surface caused crops to die, while her reappearance in spring caused them to flourish. If you want to honor this goddess with a drink in hand, try the Persephone’s Elixir. It was created by bartending veteran and beverage consultant Eben Freeman, who has worked behind bars and created menus in New York and around the globe. It features tequila, pomegranate liqueur, fresh lemon juice and ginger beer.

The cocktail is similar in makeup to the classic El Diablo, which features tequila, creme de cassis (a sweet blackcurrant liqueur), lime and ginger beer. Pomegranate and cassis are not interchangeable, but they each add fruity sweetness with a tart kick, so if you like the El Diablo, you’ll probably enjoy the Persephone’s Elixir.

When choosing your tequila, be sure to select a blanco. This unaged variety showcases the agave plant and the earth where it’s grown, typically sporting vegetal flavors often accented by citrus or pepper. Aged tequilas like reposados and añejos include oak barrel flavors like vanilla, caramel and baking spices that, while delicious in their own right, can disrupt the balance of this particular drink.

The pomegranate arrives via Pama, a unique liqueur made from pomegranate juice, vodka and a touch of tequila. It’s 34-proof, with a sweet-tart taste and a vibrant color that gives everything it touches a ruby hue.

Note that ginger beer is different than ginger ale. The former is a centuries-old drink that is brewed with a strong ginger flavor and a spicy kick, while the latter is essentially ginger-flavored soda. Ginger beers vary considerably, however, and run the gamut from sweet and underwhelming to bright and effervescent with a complex spice profile. When in doubt, opt for a bottle made by a highly regarded craft producer. And when using the ginger beer in this recipe, remember that it’s applied as a topper, not shaken with the other ingredients. Typically, you do not want to shake carbonated ingredients, as that can cause your shaker to expand and separate, letting the precious liquid contents escape.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce blanco tequila

  • 3/4 ounce Pama pomegranate liqueur

  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • Ginger beer, chilled, to top

Steps

  1. Add the tequila, pomegranate liqueur and lemon juice to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.

  2. Strain into a highball glass.

  3. Top with the ginger beer.