A New Cocktail: “The Bad Back”


Chicago mixologist Paul McGee has a lovely concoction called “Forget the Winter” which was eye-opening for me — using Ruby Port for complexity and spice is brilliant in this rum & lime based drink. I applied this idea to a margarita variation I was working on (the hard, hard work of testing drinks!) and was thrilled with the results. Aperol and fresh mint syrup take it to the next level. Next time someone asks you for a margarita, dazzle them with this sophisticated variation.

2 oz Espolón tequila
.5 oz Ruby Port
.5 oz Aperol
1 oz fresh lime juice
.25 oz mint syrup


Mint Simple Syrup


Put equal parts sugar and water into a saucepan (1 C. each is a good amount) and bring it just to the point of a light boil, when bubbles start to rise and the liquid clarifies, you’re done. Drop a handful of mint into the pot and give it a quick stir. You want the mint to brighten up and come alive, but not wilt or brown.

Put the warm mixture into a blender and purée.

Strain into a jar or bottle using a funnel.