At over 9,000 feet, Quito, Ecuador, has fairly chilly evenings. This strong cinnamon- and citrus-flavored cocktail is what Quiteños turn to to keep warm. Serve it as a shot at your next cocktail party, and we think you’ll agree that it’s warming as well as surprisingly potent.
What to buy: Aguardiente is a sugarcane-derived liquor that is savored for its light anise flavor; it can be found at most liquor stores.
Game plan: This drink can be made in a slow cooker or transferred to a thermal carafe to keep warm while it is being served.
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 8 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
- 1 medium orange, thinly sliced
- 2 cups aguardiente
- 1 medium lime, thinly sliced
- Combine water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and orange slices in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, covered, until the liquid has a noticeable cinnamon flavor, about 30 minutes.
- Keep the mixture warm over very low heat (it should no longer be simmering). Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and serve in small shot glasses or tumblers.