Noche Triste

Orestes Cruz, Empire State South | Atlanta

Inspired by the Remember the Maine, a drink whose various elements tell the story of the USS Maine, which sunk off the coast of Havana in 1898, Orestes Cruz set out to create a similarly narrative cocktail. In his Noche Triste, he creates an abstract interpretation of the Mexican War of Independence, in which sherry represents Spain, Tequila stands in for Mexico, and the Gran Classic represents “the bitterness of the battle,” explains Cruz. Finished with a dash of chocolate bitters, the spiced nuttiness of the drink calls to mind Mexican hot chocolate.


Serving: 1

  • 1 1/4 ounces Ceylon black tea infused tequila reposado (see Editor’s Note)
  • 1 1/4 ounces amontillado sherry
  • 1/2 ounce Gran Classico Bitter
  • 1 dash chocolate bitters, preferably Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters

Garnish: orange peel

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir until chilled.
  2. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube.
  3. Express the orange peel and use as garnish.
Editor's Note

Ceylon Black Tea-infused Tequila Reposado:
1 bottle of tequila reposado
5 tablespoons of Ceylon black tea

In a jar, add the tequila and the tea and close tightly to avoid evaporation. Let it sit for 4 hours and double strain back into the bottle.