El Chipilo Cocktail

4.67 from 3 votes
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I’m calling my original tequila and Aperol cocktail the Chipilo cocktail—an imbibe that drinks like a spicy margarita with a splash of Aperol, angostura bitters, and spicy bitters (or Tobasco). The cocktail boasts sweet citrus and bitter orange character with a subtle spicy flavor. It’s incredibly refreshing and highly recommended for all my margarita lovers.

An orange Aperol and Tequila cocktail garnished with a lime wheel in a double old fashioned glass on a blue surface.

Why am I calling this creation the Chipilo cocktail? I’m glad you asked. Chipilo is a small city in Puebla, Mexico where Italian immigrants settled in the late 1800s. It’s known as a little piece of Italy in Mexico, just like a splash of an Italian aperitif in a very familiar feeling tequila cocktail.

If you’re a fan of the Naked and Famous cocktail, you should give this cocktail a try. It’s very much in the same realm of flavors. Looking for more cocktails to enjoy with your tacos? Why not a tequila and mezcal cocktail or a classic margarita. Swap in some flavor with a pineapple habanero margarita!

Ingredients

El Chipilo cocktail ingredients laid out on a wooden cutting board.
  • Reposado tequila: I like Reposado in this drink because it offers a nice balance of toasted caramel flavors. Sometimes I’ll use Añejo, but I think I prefer Reposado since it makes for a brighter cocktail.
  • Fresh lime juice: always use fresh citrus for a bright cocktail that pops. A handheld citrus squeezer makes juicing limes an easy task.
  • Aperol: famous from the Aperol Spritz, Aperol is an Italian bitter apéritif made from gentian, rhubarb, and cinchona that has strong bitter orange notes.
  • Simple syrup: I prefer 50-50 simple syrup because it’s less sweet than agave. Start with less than half an ounce and add more as needed. You want enough to round out the cocktail without it tasting overly sweet.
  • Angostura bitters: bitters are optional but I like the subtle clove/cinnamon flavor it adds—it’s especially complimentary to the reposado tequila.
  • Spicy bitters or Tabasco: I originally designed this cocktail with a dash of Tabasco. It sounds strange but the salty vinegar base simply works in this drink. Lately, I’ve been using Scrappy’s Fire Tincture bitters. It’s the purest-tasting heat with no flavor.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

Step By Step Instructions

Step 1.

Combine tequila, Aperol, lime, bitters, simple syrup, and optional Tobasco in a Boston shaker with a large cup of ice.

A hand pouring Aperol into a cocktail shaker with a cocktail jigger.
Squeezing lime juice into a cocktail shaker with a handheld citrus squeezer.

Step 2.

Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and double strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass over fresh ice or a giant ice cube.

Straining an Aperol and tequila-based cocktail into a chilled double old fashioned glass over ice.

Step 3.

Garnish with a lime wheel.

An orange Aperol and Tequila cocktail garnished with a lime wheel in a double old fashioned glass on a wooden cutting board.

Expert Tips

  • You can enhance this cocktail a little further with brûléed lime or lemon wheel garnishes. Sprinkle a little sugar on your citrus of choice and brûlée with a kitchen torch. This will add a smokey aroma to the cocktail.
  • Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
  • Use “dirty” ice from the shaker, fresh ice cubes, or pour over a large ice cube for the ultimate presentation/experience.
  • This cocktail tastes great with a tiny pinch of salt or 80-20 saline solution.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make simple syrup?

I usually make a 50-50 mix of water and sugar (by weight). If you don’t have a scale, just heat 1 cup of water with 1 cup of granulated sugar until the sugar is fully dissolved. You can make it on the stove or quickly in the microwave by heating/stirring in intervals. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.

Margaritas to Enjoy

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
4.67 from 3 votes

El Chipilo Cocktail Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
A spicy Italian twist on a tequila cocktail. Picture a tangy margarita with a touch of heat, orange, and bitters.

Ingredients 

  • 1 1/2 ounces Tequila, Pref. Reposado or Añejo
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce Aperol
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 dashes angostura bitters
  • 1-2 dashes spicy bitters or Tabasco, I like Scrappy's Fire Tincture
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Instructions 

  • Combine tequila, Aperol, lime, bitters, simple syrup, and optional Tobasco in a Boston shaker with a large cup of ice.
  • Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and double strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass over fresh ice or a giant ice cube.
  • Garnish with a lime wheel.

Notes

You can enhance this cocktail a little further with brûléed lime or lemon wheel garnishes. Sprinkle a little sugar on your citrus of choice and brûlée with a kitchen torch. This will add a smokey aroma to the cocktail.
Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
Use “dirty” ice from the shaker, fresh ice cubes, or pour over a large ice cube for the ultimate presentation/experience.
This cocktail tastes great with a tiny pinch of salt or 80-20 saline solution.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 167kcalCarbohydrates: 18.7gProtein: 0.1gSodium: 11mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 5.4g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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Recipe Rating




3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Absolutely fantastic. The wife asked me to come up with something with tequila and aperol and boom, looky here.

    If you want to take this in a smoky mai tai direction, sub orgeat for the simple syrup and then add a splash each of dry curacao and mezcal.

  2. 5 stars
    This cocktail is so delicious! Perfect when you’re looking for Margarita flavors, but with a unique twist. Love the heat too. Will be making these regularly. Thank you!