El Diablo for a Crowd

May 17, 2022
2 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 10 minutes
  • Serves 8 to 10
Author Notes

One of the oldest tricks in my book is scaling up single-serving drinks for a large group. Although not all drinks are suited to scaling (sorry, but the idea of a pitcher of Old Fashioneds does not excite me), it’s a pretty safe bet that if a drink works for one, it’s great in a batch. This is especially true of drinks with citrus and sparkling water or wine. Citrus helps a drink feel vibrant and drinkable, as opposed to an all-spirits drink that’s better suited to small sips. Bubbles bring life to large-format drinks that do not come frothy straight from the shaker, allowing you to serve out of a pitcher or punch bowl without worrying about the drink feeling flat.

Speaking of tricks out of a book, this drink is a slight modification of a cocktail from my book, Drink What You Want, El Diablo Royale. That drink is itself a slight modification to the classic El Diablo cocktail, which is a spicy-and-refreshing combination of tequila, crème de cassis, lime, and ginger beer. In my version, I swap out the ginger beer for ginger syrup (same recipe as the Penicillin) plus sparkling water and sparkling wine. The wine gives the drink a subtle depth, but for abundantly large-format drinks like these, it’s always good to temper the alcohol content a bit, so we cut it with bubbly water. In this recipe, I like a bubblier seltzer, but a more delicate mineral water would work fine as well. —John deBary

What You'll Need
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El Diablo for a Crowd
  • El Diablo
  • 12 ounces reposado tequila
  • 6 ounces ginger syrup
  • 6 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 6 ounces crème de cassis de Dijon
  • 8 ounces chilled sparkling water
  • 8 ounces chilled sparkling wine
  • Candied ginger and lime wheels, for serving (optional)
  • Ginger Syrup
  • 1 pound ginger
  • 2 cups (14 ounces/396 grams) granulated sugar
  1. El Diablo
  2. Combine all ingredients in a pitcher with 3 to 4 cups of ice. Stir gently to combine. If you’d like, garnish each glass with a ginger candy and lime wheel on a pick.
  1. Ginger Syrup
  2. Soak the ginger for 10 minutes, then scrub the skin with a clean sponge (no need to peel it). Juice the ginger with a juicer. (If you don’t have a juicer: Roughly chop the ginger. Pulverize it in a food processor until juicy. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer, squeezing out the juice with your hands.) Combine 1 cup of ginger juice with the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until all sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool completely before using. (Optional: You can place the saucepan in an ice bath and stir occasionally to rapidly chill the syrup, which will give it a slightly smoother texture.) Ginger syrup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month and in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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