Recipe courtesy of Tippling Bros.

Vato Loco (The Hottest Drink on Earth)

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  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 1 cocktail
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Vato Loco:

Chile piquin or pico piquin powder

Ice, for serving

2 ounces Pineapple-Habanero Puree, recipe follows

2 ounces Arbol-Chipotle Syrup, recipe follows

2 ounces Ancho Tequila, recipe follows

1/2 ounce lime juice

4 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco

Jalapeno Garnish:

1 large jalapeno, hollowed out

Sweetened milk

High proof rum

Pineapple-Habanero Puree:

1 teaspoon paprika

1 habanero pepper

1 serrano pepper

1 pineapple, peeled and cut into cubes

Ancho Tequila:

3 ancho chiles

1 bottle blanco tequila

Arbol-Chipotle Syrup:

4 cups white sugar

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

8 arbol chiles

2 chipotles chiles, broken in half

1 cinnamon stick


  1. For the vato loco: Rim an old-fashioned glass with chile piquin or pico piquin. Then fill the glass with ice.
  2. Add the Pineapple-Habanero Puree, Arbol-Chipotle Syrup, Ancho Tequila, lime juice and hot sauce to a cocktail shaker. Shake and strain over the ice in the glass.
  3. For the garnish: Fill the jalapeno with sweetened milk. Float high proof rum on top and light on fire. Place a skewer through the jalapeno to steady it over the cocktail. Serve with a tequila glass on side to set the jalapeno in when done.

Pineapple-Habanero Puree:

  1. Place the paprika, habanero, serrano and pineapple in a blender and blend until smooth.

Ancho Tequila:

  1. Place the chiles in the bottle of tequila and infuse the tequila with the chiles for 1 hour, shaking occasionally.

Arbol-Chipotle Syrup:

  1. In a saucepan, combine 4 cups water, the sugar, ground pepper, arbol chiles, chipotle chiles and cinnamon and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the cinnamon and cool.