Listen and Cook: El Diablo Recipe from Drink What You Want
Feeling Wicked? Make This Summer Cocktail

In this week’s Listen and Cook, we’re offering a recipe from a decidedly adult corner of the kitchen: the El Diablo cocktail from Drink What You Want: The Subjective Guide to Making Objectively Delicious Cocktails by John deBary.* Find the full El Diablo recipe here (also reprinted below).

As you assemble ingredients and convert your chosen space into a speakeasy (add fairy lights, demand a password, arch one eyebrow as you drop ice cubes into a glass one-by-one), consider inviting an audiobook memoir about chefs who also mix things up a bit—or a winning tale about lessons gained while playing poker. The secret passwords are: listen to audio clips below, and drink that sinfully delicious El Diablo responsibly.

By the time he was twenty-seven years old, Kwame Onwuachi had opened—and closed—one of the most talked about restaurants in America and had launched his own catering company, yet was told he would never make it on television because his cooking wasn’t “Southern” enough. In this inspiring audio memoir about the intersection of race, fame, and food, Kwame shares the remarkable story of his culinary coming-of-age.

“Kwame Onwuachi is memoirist turned narrator. His style is characterized by an unblinking honesty through which he reveals the story behind one of the most talked about new restaurants in Washington, DC…Fans of the cooking world, including shows such as “Top Chef,” will be entranced.”—AudioFile, Earphones Award Winner

Reflecting on the years she spent working in the male-centric world of professional kitchens, Crenn tracks her career from struggling cook to running one of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants, while at the same time speaking out on restaurant culture, sexism, immigration, and climate change. At once a tale of personal discovery and a tribute to unrelenting determination, Rebel Chef is the story of one woman making a place for herself in the kitchen, and in the world.

Listen to this riveting audiobook about a New York Times bestselling author and New Yorker contributor who parlayed a strong grasp of the science of human decision-making (and a woeful ignorance of cards) into a life-changing run as a professional poker player, under the wing of a legend of the game.

From Drink What You Want by John deBary, the recipe for “El Diablo”

There are a ton of different ways to make an El Diablo. I’m sure there is a definitive version somewhere out there, but that’s an unimportant endeavor next to finding a recipe you actually like. To start, here’s a version that I love. Most people use ginger beer, but I think it’s 1000% better with sparkling wine. This drink is a bit bigger in volume than usual, which is why I recommend serving it with ice in an old fashioned or water glass. The ice helps soften the intensity from the ginger and provides additional dilution to balance the alcohol.

11⁄2 ounces reposado tequila 3⁄4 ounce Ginger Syrup (recipe
3⁄4 ounce fresh lime juice
3⁄4 ounce Lejay crème de cassis
2 ounces sparkling wine, such as Cava or Prosecco
Garnishes Lime wheel and candied ginger on a pick
In a shaker, combine the tequila, ginger syrup, lime juice, and crème de cassis. Add ice and shake for 15 seconds. Strain into an ice-filled old fashioned or water glass. Top with the sparkling wine and garnish with the lime wheel and candied ginger.

Makes about 2 cups
2 pounds fresh ginger, thoroughly scrubbed*
About 2 cups granulated sugar (depending on juice yield; see Note)

Using a juice extractor, juice the ginger. Pass the liquid through a gold coffee filter to remove all solids. You should have about 1 cup. Combine the ginger juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the syrup to cool for a few minutes. Place the pan in an ice bath and stir every few minutes until the mixture is below room temperature. Use immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to
2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Note: The yield on ginger juice can vary widely depending on the piece of ginger and on how diligent you are in juicing. No matter what, in this recipe be sure to use 2:1 parts, by volume, of sugar to ginger juice. If you don’t have a juice extractor, use a food processor to purée the ginger and then filter out the juice.

*El Diablo image credit: Drink What You Want: The Subjective Guide to Making Objectively Delicious Cocktails by John deBary.

Looking for more audiobook listening recommendations for spending time in the kitchen? Check our more from our Listen and Cook series.