The Essential Cocktail Book Cover 

At a recent book signing, which took place at the Delano in South Beach, Dale DeGroff introduced his newest book,


Two examples of the extra ordinary cocktails that were served are below. Both require prep time; both are more than worthy of that effort.  

Copa Verde 


Original drink by Dale DeGroff
Makes about 10 shots, about 2 ounces each

Excerpted from The Essential Cocktail Page 238 in book

“For many of us restaurant goers, our first experience of having a cocktail with dinner was in a Mexican restaurant; none of the European cultures has the tradition of distilled spirits with food. But in Mexican joints, tequila-based cocktails often flowed throughout the meal, and that’s what inspired this bizarre spinoff of the margarita. These shooters are a great accompaniment to Spanish or Mexican tapas, with the avodaco completely liquefied to create the “green glass”. But as delicious as this concoction is—really an amuse-bouche unto itself as well as a great pairing-don’t try to serve it as a full quantity cocktail, which is just too much. This recipe is perfect for a crowd.

  • Chili powder, for frosting rim of the glass, optional
  • Kosher salt, for frosting rim of the glass, optional
  • Lime slice, for frosting rim of the glass, optional
  • 4 ounces Gran Centenario Plata tequila
  • 1/2 avocado, ripe but not mushy, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 ounces agave nectar
  • 2 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon or lime juice

If you want to frost the glasses with the chili-salt combination (or just salt, for the fainthearted), use the technique explained above, using the lime slice to moisten 4 shot glasses. In a blender, combine the tequila, avocado, agave nectar, and citrus juice with 3 ounces water. Blend until completely smooth without ice. When thoroughly pureed, pour into a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to serve, transfer the mixture to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake very well. Strain into the 4 prepared shot glasses and serve immediately.


Original drink by Dale DeGroff
Makes 6 drinks or 18 shooters

Excerpted from The Essential Cocktail Page 239 in book

“I was introduced to a mojito offshoot called the Strepe Chepe by the inimitable Colin Cowie, who knows how to throw a party like few others do. I added ginger, sake, honey, and agave, but retained the same base of vodka, lemon, and mint. What’s more, I kept the idea of serving this as a blended, chilled, relatively low-alcohol shot that’s cool and refreshing, either as an intermezzo (a palate-cleanser between courses) or as a dancing drink, where guests can consume this while on the dance floor. Colin calls drinks like this Rocket Fuel, for their effect on the crowd. (A pretty good name for a great idea, when you think about it). There’s an Eastern flair to this drink with the sake and, if you want, with the flavoring of Hangar One Buddha’s Hand Vodka, which is an excellent choice here. (The Buddha’s Hand can be hard to find, so substitute plain vodka, not a citrus-flavored one). And be sure to blend this mixture a good long time, until completely liquefied, especially the mint leaves.

  • 6 ounces Vodka
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 4 ounces agave syrup (cut with 4 ounces water)
  • 2 ounces honey syrup
  • 2 ounces ginger sryup
  • 2 ounces saké
  • 2 ounces fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 ounces fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 3/4 cups ice

In a blender, combine the vodka, mint, agave syrup, honey syrup, ginger syrup, saké, and lemon and lime juices. Add ice and blend on high speed until 100 percent completely liquefied and there are no mint particles floating around in there. Divide the mixture among 18 shot glasses and pass around to dancers so they don't have to miss a beat.

Dale DeGroff
Upcoming Events
Spirits of Mexico NY
New York, NY
October 13, 2011

Liquid Living Magazine