Recipe: El Gallito

Recipe: El Gallito

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Maggie Hoffman
Jun 29, 2018
(Image credit: Kelly Puleio)

Have you ever met a drink that also provides its own perfect snack accompaniment? This rare treasure, an umami-rich pitcher drink from Bay Area bartender Matthew McKinley Campbell, balances juicy pineapple with grassy green cilantro.

This cocktail straddles the line between sweet and savory. A handful of cherry tomatoes tamps down the fruity flavor of pineapple without pushing the drink into full-on Bloody Mary territory. The mixer is easy to prep in advance for a group, and the solids that you strain off the blended mixture become a fresh, spicy salsa that's excellent with chips. Vodka lets the drink's vivid flavors shine, but the mix is also good with reposado tequila.

The One-Bottle Cocktail

What if you could mix up a cocktail just as good as the one you had at that bar you visited on vacation without having to buy a whole new bar cart of liquor? Maggie Hoffman will show you just how to do that with her book, The One Bottle Cocktail. Each recipe relies on just one bottle of liquor and will show you how to add in a few extra ingredients to mix a drink that tastes like the one you have at that cool restaurant a few weeks ago.

El Gallito

Serves 12

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • 25

    fresh cilantro stems with leaves

  • 2

    medium scallions, top third of greens removed 

  • 8

    cherry tomatoes

  • 1 cup

    diced fresh pineapple

  • 8 ounces

    freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 5 ounces

    water

  • 4 ounces

    undiluted agave nectar

  • 1 ounce

    adobo sauce from canned chipotles

  • Pinch salt

  • About 24 ounces vodka

  • Ice

  • For garnish: 12 cocktail picks, each with 1 cherry tomato half 

Cut the cilantro and green onions into 3-inch segments. Place in a blender. Add the tomatoes, pineapple, lime juice, water, agave nectar, adobo sauce, and salt. Process until smooth. Strain through a chinois or fine-mesh strainer into a large measuring cup. Set aside solids to serve as a salsa, refrigerating if not serving immediately. 

Measure the liquid mix (it should yield about 24 ounces) and pour into a 2-quart pitcher or resealable container along with an equal amount of vodka. If not serving right away, refrigerate for up to 3 hours. 

When ready to serve, stir mixture well, then add 1 1/2 cups ice to pitcher and give it another gentle stir. Pour into ice-filled rocks glasses and garnish each one with a speared cherry tomato half. 

Recipe Notes

Reprinted with permission from The One-Bottle Cocktail by Maggie Hoffman, copyright (c)2018, Ten Speed Press.

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