Istmo’s Ghost, the most popular drink at San Diego’s Polite Provisions, is both spicy and refreshing, a mix of tequila, watermelon juice and chile de arbol–infused watermelon syrup and Chareau aloe liqueur. “Being so close to Mexico, we find that our guests are very much excited by agave spirits,” says beverage director Alicia Perry, who notes that a house favorite version of the drink can be ordered with mezcal.
Israel Gomez | San Diego
- 1 1/2 ounces blanco tequila (mezcal may be substituted to make house favorite)
- 1 ounce lime juice
- 1 ounce fresh watermelon juice
- 3/4 ounce chile de árbol–watermelon syrup (see Editor’s Note)
- 1/2 ounce Chareau aloe liqueur
Garnish: salt rim, lime wheel, roasted chile de árbol
- Rim a glass with salt and set aside.
- Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice.
- Strain into the prepared glass over ice.
- Garnish with a lime wheel and a roasted chile de arbol.
Chile de Árbol–Watermelon Syrup
500 milliliters fresh watermelon juice (rind included)
911 grams (scant 5 cups) cane sugar
3.5 grams malic acid
3.5 grams citric acid
5.5 grams toasted chile de árbol
Blend until good consistency, then strain and refrigerate.