3 Easy holiday cocktail tips from a top Latino bartender (EXCLUSIVE)

It's not every day that I get to talk to an expert in cocktails but that's exactly what happened when I had the chance to ask the advice of Venezuela-born Leo Robitschek, the genius mixing up amazing drinks at both Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad, at a Tabasco harvest event hosted by the McIlhenny family.

He may be great at crafting amazingly complicated and creative cocktails at work but, to be honest, what I really wanted to know how I can make easy Holiday cocktails with what I have in my kitchen. Luckily, he was there to tell MamásLatinas his best tips for easy Latin holiday cocktails that will make everyone at your fiesta simply BEG you for the recipe.


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1. How to infuse your tequila: Making an infused tequila for the holidays is easier than it seems. All you need to do is pour a full bottle of tequila into a bowl and add whatever you want to infuse it with. For instance, you can add a cinnamon stick and leave it in for 2 days, then strain it out. You can also do nutmeg, clove or vanilla bean for that holiday flavor. Of course, if you're more a spicy cocktail kind of person, then try the same technique with a jalapeño. Leave it in your tequila for about 10-15 minutes, then taste it. Once it reaches the level you want, strain it out and serve in your favorite margarita recipe. 

2. Make a simple syrup yourself: To make the kind of simple syrup that you can easily add to cocktails in order to sweeten them up, take 2 parts agave syrup and 1 part water, add some cinnamon and set it to a boil in a pot over the stove. Once it has begun to boil, turn it off and let it cool. Pour it into a sweeze bottle and then just serve it up in your favorite drink. 

3. Try the basic cocktail recipe: Here's Leo's secret for the perfect go-to Latin cocktail that you can make with what you already have in the kitchen. Try 1 part tequila, 1 part cherry juice (he recommends sour Fiji cherry), 3/4 part lemon juice, 1/2 part agave syrup (or your simple syrup) and then simply throw in your favorire herbs or berries. You can try blueberries and mint, strawberries and cinnamon, raspberries and sage. Any combination that you think you'd love. Simply mix and match for the great holiday cocktail that you know the whole family will love!

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: cocktails  holiday drink