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Three New Mexican Mixology Recipes To Celebrate Día de Los Muertos

Presented By:

Día de Los Muertos is a time to celebrate the lives of loved ones lost over the years. One of the most important ways to observe the multi-day holiday, which takes place November 1-2, is to build altares (altars) to honor those who have passed. Altars are usually adorned with decorative skulls, cempasúchil (marigold) flowers, candles, and photographs. It is customary to leave the deceased person’s favorite foods and beverages on their altars as gifts, known as ofrendas, so their souls have something to take with them after their visit.

While pan de muerto and other pastries, fruit, tamales, champurrado, aguas frescas, and even a favorite beer or liquor are some of the traditional things that people leave on altars — as a way to provide sustenance to the souls after their long journey from the afterlife — there’s always room to use a little more creative license.

This year, Smirnoff Vodka, through its Tamarind campaign, is giving the Día de Los Muertos celebration a new twist by creating three Día de Los Muertos-themed cocktails. All feature its specialty flavor, Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind, which comes in a Día de Los Muertos-themed bottle that glows under blacklight. The infused vodka is “a bold combination of tamarind with notes of lime and finished with spicy notes from a mix of chilies.”

The tamarind is a tropical fruit that is known in Latin America as tamarindo. It was introduced there in the 16th century. The three distinct cocktails made with Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind were developed by a team of expert mixologists looking for the best flavor blends to share with friends and family on this special holiday. There’s something for everyone:

El Tributo

  • 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind
  • 3/4 oz Cucumber juice
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1 oz Coconut water
  • 1 Cardamom seed
  • 1 oz Pineapple juice
  • 50 grams activated charcoal
  • Flor de cempasúchil (marigold) garnish
  • Highball glass 

Muddle cardamom seed in a shaker, add the charcoal and the ingredients and shake vigorously. Double strain over fresh ice and garnish with a cempasúchil flower.


  • 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind
  • 1/2 oz Lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz aperol
  • 1/2 chile árbol shrub *
  • 1/4 Agave syrup
  • Egg white
  • Chili dust
  • Coupe glass

Crack an egg and separate the yolk. Use the egg white and add to the mixing glass. Add all the ingredients and dry shake, then add ice and do a hard shake. Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Cover part of the glass with a coaster and dust some chilly on top. To make the chilly shrub: 1 cup sugar: 1 cup apple vinegar: 3 chiles de árbol.  Boil everything together and mix well in a blender. Sit to chill. Strain and ready to use.


  • 1 1/2 oz Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind
  • 1 oz Mango brandy
  • 1/2 oz cinnamon/ tangerine syrup *
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • Tangerine peel express and discard
  • Rocks glass
  • Big ice cube
  • Smoked cinnamon stick

With a mixing glass, add all ingredients and a mix to bring up to temperature and strain over a big ice cube. To make the cinnamon tangerine syrup: 1 cup water  : 1 cup sugar : 2 cinnamon sticks : peels from 1 tangerine. Boil everything together, strain, and sit to chill.

Have we made you thirsty yet? You’re going to need something to drink after eating all that pan de muerto. Remember to pick up a bottle of Smirnoff Spicy Tamarind while you’re out shopping for Halloween costumes, candy, and items to decorate your altar with this year. Don’t leave these spirits out of such a spirited holiday. ¡Feliz Día de Muertos!