The Tango Nuevo is the kind of cocktail we love: simple, unique, and built on a combination of easy-to-find bottles and fun kitchen ingredients. Not only are these sort of recipes more accessible to the casual home bartender—they also stand out from the usual crowd because of their chef-like mode of thinking; while the modern cocktail ecosystem sports fabulous diversity of texture, color and flavor, most of it still centers around combining liquor bottles with certain types of citrus, an occasional herb, fruit, or spice. The magic of this drink—and many of the drinks from The One Bottle Cocktail, which we pulled the recipe from—is that it starts with a more confectionary approach to drink building, and the rum is added mostly as a supporting element. This different mode of thinking results in a wholly unique and memorable experience without deferring to exotic bottles.
The clear inspiration for this drink is salted caramel, which makes it perfect for sipping on a cold evening. The drink is rich and rummy with a hefty texture. The drink smells mostly like rum, while the sip is salty at first followed by big notes of caramel and finally coffee at the end. The original recipe calls for cold brew coffee, but we used Mr Black coffee liqueur, which is quite dry and worked delightfully well. The drink is naturally sweet, so depending on your mood, you might want to consider knocking back on the honey syrup a tad. The recipe also requests smoked salt, but any nice flaky salt will work. The smoked salt adds a nice little whiff of smoke but isn’t essential. Speaking of inessential—soda water isn’t really necessary here either, although it does lighten things up a bit. Unsurprisingly, the best rums in this drink are chocolatey or caramelly, so reach for dark bottles with age such as El Dorado five year or Flor De Cana four year.