Cocktail Challenge: Takis | Cocktail Challenge | Chicago Reader

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Cocktail Challenge: Takis

Jess Keene of Barrelhouse Flat finds one good use for junk food.


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Challenged with the Mexican snack Takis by Big Star and the Charleston's Annemarie Sagoi, Barrelhouse Flat bartender Jess Keene refrained from any mention of the kiddie-rap video "Hot Cheetos & Takis." She doesn't even like the things—"a garnish with Takis would be disgusting," she said. Instead, she wrapped about 20 of the cigar-shaped chips (Nitro flavor) in cheesecloth and used them to infuse a simple syrup. The mezcal-based cocktail she arrived at is savory, smoky, and only mildly spicy despite the addition of habanero and chile de arbol syrups. Keene got the name from an online random-phrase generator.

Fist of Surrender

1 oz tomato juice
3/4 oz lime juice
1/4 oz grapefruit juice
11/2 oz Vida mezcal
1/2 oz Takis simple syrup
1/4 oz habanero syrup
1/8 oz Cynar artichoke liqueur
2 dashes celery bitters
Dash chile de arbol simple syrup
Dash Angostura bitters
Salt, for rimming

Combine ingredients and shake vigorously. Strain over ice into a salt-rimmed rocks glass.

Who's Next:

Keene has challenged Mark Brinker, her "fellow bartender in arms" at Barrelhouse Flat, with sriracha.

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