Drink of the Week: Cocktail No. 366

Cocktail No. 36.No, I can’t tell you anything about Cocktail No. 365 or, for that matter, Cocktail No. 367. I do know that the people behind the marketing of Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila have been pushing this enigmatically named concoction as a modern day update of last week’s beverage, Harry Craddock’s Leap Year Cocktail. While both cocktails do indeed have both bitter and sweet flavors, the Hornitos people have come up with something that is far more boldly bitter in a way that’s also kind of sweetly refreshing, and which features one of my very favorite ingredients, good ol’ Campari. That’s one way to get my attention. In any event, I’d say this drink is probably closer to a Boulevardier than the Leap Year, but that’s hardly a bad thing.

Cocktail No. 366

1 1/2 ounces Hornitos Black Barrel Tequila
1 ounce Campari
1/4 ounce sweet vermouth
2 ounces soda water
1 dash orange bitters
1 orange peel (garnish)

Gather ye your liquid ingredients in a mixing glass or, if you’re a piker who doesn’t own one like me, you can use a cocktail shaker, though you won’t be doing any shaking on account of the soda water. Instead, stir the concoction vigorously and, depending on your mood, you can either strain the mixture over fresh ice into a Tom Collins glass or pour it out carefully, ice and all. Add the orange peel garnish, and toast the world that teaches us to take the bitter with the sweet and to actually enjoy it.


Cocktail No. 366 pretty much had me from the start, and I say that not only because the Hornitos people are supplying me with with enough tequila to fuel several Tijuana benders. Any drink that contains that much Campari is likely to be a hit with me. The inclusion of orange bitters is also kind of interesting when you consider that Campari is often classified as a bitter; on it’s own, it’s basically the sweetest thing you’ve ever tasted combined not-quite-simultaneously with the most bitter thing you’ve ever tasted. Not only that, but the drink itself is largely derived from an obscure, bitter citrus fruit. In others words, you’d better like bitter.

I tried Cocktail No. 366 both straining the concoction over fresh ice and simply pouring it all into my glass. The former method was more refreshing, while the latter was a bit more flavorful, but both were very nice. I’ll also mention that I used both Martini and Carpano Antica as my sweet vermouths. The drink using the more chocolatey/bittersweet Carpano danced a bit more nimbly on my tongue. Sometimes more is actually more.