Waking the Dead

I do enjoy October. It’s the beginning of my favorite season (autumn), the start of extra spiced food (the best), it’s finally starting to get cooler (maybe) and holidays. While I’m not one to start tossing up Christmas decorations in October, I am one who appreciates a nice Halloween motif. Along with that, being a good Californian, I can’t help but appreciate the Day of the Dead — it’s like Halloween, but more prettier (fact). Knowing that, we had to come up with something to celebrate the Dia de los Muertos, meaning, hello Waking the Dead!

add cilantro to the shaker

It’s kinda hard to have a Day of the Dead without having some dead around to celebrate. Pretty sure that’s part of the deal. Our hands were tied, we had to make a Day of the Dead cocktail.

What’s important, I feel, when waking the dead is you can’t have them feel too out of place, so you don’t want an ultra-vibrant cocktail. Dare I say, it should have an almost ephemeral hue, maybe with some green and white overtones. You know, spectral spirits and all that.

muddle cilantroblue nectar tequila

Now that they’re feeling amongst friends, it’s good to wake them from their eternal slumber. For me, that means one thing: spice. However, for this spice, you know the dead you’re attempting to wake, so choose your own spicy adventure. Make yourself a simple syrup with the requisite spice you think you’re going to need (we did serranos, but feel free to go jalapenos, or habaneros if you really need to kick someone in the pants).

Color, check. Spice, check. Base booze? Now that’s the trick (zing!). Though, if we’re perfectly honest, working towards a Mexican holiday, involving some spice, there was only one real, logical choice: tequila. In this case, a bright, spicy, herbaceous silver would do very nicely indeed. Luckily, our friends over at Blue Nectar had just sent us some of their silver, so we were set.

ready to shake the boston shakerstrain cocktail

Finally, it was a matter of rounding out those flavors with some lime juice (can’t not, really) and a bare splash of some orange liqueur.

Shaken all together, oh yes, this indeed will wake the dead and taste mighty fine while doing it.

Now, let’s get down to it and try a Waking the Dead!

waking the dead cocktail

Waking the Dead
Recipe type: Drinks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
  • 2½ oz. silver tequila
  • ½ oz. Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz. lime juice
  • 1 oz. spicy simple syrup
  • Egg white
  • Big ol’ bunch of cilantro
  • Spiced cherry bitters
  • Glass type: coupe
  1. Choose your own adventure for spiced simple syrup.
  2. Add simple syrup, lime juice and cilantro to your cocktail shaker.
  3. Muddle.
  4. Essential oils FTW.
  5. Add your silver tequila, Grand Mariner, egg white and ice.
  6. Shake.
  7. A whole lot.
  8. Pour and strain (unless you like bits of stuff, but seriously, strain) into your coupe.
  9. Pause and reflect on the ghoulish complexion.
  10. Smile.
  11. Now that the drink has settled, top with drops of cherry bitters.
  12. Draw lines through those drops.
  13. Spectral spirits!
  14. Now wake some dead.