Tequila and sparkling wine—especially rosé—aren’t often served in the same glass, but the Lone Ranger proves that freshly-squeezed lemon can tie the two together with a bright, citrusy bow. Plus, any cocktail with acclaimed bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s name behind it is bound to be a winner. Morgenthaler created the Lone Ranger during his long tenure at the now-closed Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. He invented it as a light, refreshing brunch drink, though with tequila and sparkling rosé it’s enjoyable at any time of day. “Lower proof, bubbly, pink, and delicious,” is how he describes this highball.
Morgenthaler based the Lone Ranger on the French 75, perhaps the most well-known example of the use of sparkling wine in a cocktail. The formula remains mainly the same, but Morgenthaler swaps the gin for tequila and ensures the sparkling wine has a pink hue. The subtle notes of ripe, red berries in a good brut rosé complement this cocktail’s tequila base perfectly.
If you’re serving the drink to a crowd, be sure to stock extra supplies—somehow, just one glass is never quite enough. Because sparkling wines go flat within a day or so of opening you won’t need an excuse to make multiple glasses. Consider mixing a batch for your next brunch party, or alongside appetizers at a dinner event.
Remember to go with a dry, or brut, rosé when making the Lone Ranger. Luckily, despite the weirdly lingering misconceptions that abound around bubbly rosé, the majority of them tend to be dry. If you do end up using a bottle with some sweetness, simply cut back the simple syrup.
- 1 1/2 ounces silver tequila
- 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce rich simple syrup
- 2 ounces brut rosé sparkling wine
- Garnish: lemon twist
Add the tequila, lemon juice and simple syrup to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Add the sparkling wine.
Strain into a Collins glass filled with fresh ice.
Garnish with a lemon twist.