Skip to main content


Tequila has a bad rap, largely because of its association with hastily downed shooters followed by the trifecta of salt/saliva/lemon. "It's a shame," says Lauren Mote, the award-winning bar manager at The Refinery in Vancouver, "because tequila is really a sophisticated drink."

To give customers a sense of its subtlety, Mote has created a cocktail that "aims to deliver tasting notes of smoke, citrus and spice." But if it sounds complex, making the Toro is easy. Before the fiesta, two steps: Make a simple syrup, add raw green peppercorns and bruised lemongrass leaves and steep overnight, then create your own flavoured salt using guajillo chilies, kosher salt and a food processor. Once the custom components are ready, combine the cocktail ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain over ice into an old-fashioned glass. Garnish with blanched pineapple leaves or lime peel. Salud!


Story continues below advertisement

1 1/2 ounces tequila

1/2 ounce Fee Brothers Lemon Bitters

3/4 ounce fresh lime juice

1 ounce lemongrass-and-raw-green-peppercorn syrup

1 pinch guaijillo chili salt

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.