Cocktail: Elotes con Piña | Bartender: Maria Paterakis

The following cocktail was made for our Orrefors Cocktail Competition taking place at William Ashley in Toronto. For more information about it, please visit our Events page.

When I received the Orrefors Peak Highball glass, the first thing I did was stare at it for a really long time. I was fascinated by the beautiful triangular peaks, the symmetry, and the bold horizontal division at the bottom of the glass, unique to most crystal glassware. I was reminded of pineapple fronds and tall ceramic Tiki glasses, but elegant. I knew I wanted to highlight the clean lines, and beautiful reflective crystal. The sheer volume of the glass made me realize I had the opportunity to create a cocktail that had different layers of flavour- a cocktail that told a story, that had a beginning, middle, and end, much like this beautiful Peak Highball glass.

I knew my cocktail would be three things:
It would be Tiki, or Tiki-adjacent
It would be clear, so as to appreciate the crystal
It would start one way, and end another.

(As a painter, I always make sure to look at my piece from all angles, constantly flipping canvasses during my process. When I turned the glass upside down one quadrant looked like a crown, which I thought was cool too.)

Next came the story I wanted to tell. It came to me on a really amazing first date. My boyfriend and I were just getting to know each other, and what better way then pineapple margaritas and extremely messy, absolutely delicious Mexican street corn, or elotes. The grilled sweetness of the corn, our mutual love of hot sauce combined with sips of pineapple, lime, tequila, and then the cooling cheese and crema fresca created the perfect synergy. That’s when I had my story.

With Patron Tequila as my spirit, this beautiful tiki inspired high ball as my glass to celebrate, and a clear flavour profile in mind, I went to work. I wanted this drink to be as authentic as possible, so if i was going to represent something as Iconic as Mexican street corn, I better do my research. I met with my favourite Mexican Chef to talk about the dish, then went to Mexican markets in Toronto to source different ingredients. After much trial and error, (my first attempt at a corn chili syrup I did create a DELICIOUS hot sauce) I had my finished product. A beautiful spicy sweet syrup, when combined delicately with clarified pineapple and lime juice, and of course a healthy dose of Patron, some celery bitters for depth and balance, created the base of the cocktail. Once sipped the sweetness became hot, which is when the palate was ready to be cooled down by the Mexican lime crema foam. I also upcycled the chilis and corn from the syrup, dehydrated to become a rim and complement the dehydrated pineapples, shooting out of the glass to celebrate the height, and also act as a vehicle for the crema, if you need. I also made a little Patron chili tincture if you are crazy like me and really want to spice it up. Thanks for listening!

2 oz Patron Silver Tequila
1 oz Grilled Corn Mexican Chili Syrup
2 oz Clarified Pineapple Juice
1 oz Clarified Lime Juice
1 large dash of Cascade Celery Bitters
Macerated Chilis
Lime and Mexican Crema Foam
Dehydrated Chili and Grilled Corn Salt
Dehydrated Pineapple

Use corn syrup to detail the Orrefors Peak Highball glass, then rim with dehydrated chili and grilled corn salt. Place a few macerated chilis at the bottom of the glass, layer clear ice cubes on top. Gently heat 2-3 dehydrated pineapples with torch and mold to glass in a cascade fashion.

In a shaker tin combine Patron Silver Tequila, grilled corn Mexican Chili Syrup, Clarified Pineapple Juice, Clarified Lime Juice and Cascade Celery Bitters. Roll cocktail for 30 seconds. Directly pour in glass. Add Mexican Crema Lime Foam and lime zest on top.

Grilled Corn Mexican Chili Syrup:
Grill 2 heads of fresh corn. Thinly slice Mexican finger chilis. Infuse 1 litre of water by 1/2 lb sliced chilis by steeping the chilis until the water boils. Once boiled, remove chilis and add equal parts sugar to the water and simmer until sugar dissolves.  Cut kernels from cob and slightly muddle. infuse the kernels in the chilli syrup for 24 hours. Strain after one day and adjust heat if desired. Take strained chilis and corn for the rim and the chilli garnish at bottom of glass.

Clarifying Lime and Pineapple Juice:
In a sauce pan, mix agar agar in cold water over medium heat until it comes to a boil and the agar blooms. Use 2% of agar compared to the total liquid being clarified. Add the lime or pineapple juice to the agar agar liquid and immediately cool over ice bath. stir until it has the consistency of cottage cheese and cool. Let stand for 15 mins. Strain using a chinois and cheesecloth for a clear liquid of pineapple or lime juice respectively.

Macerated chilis:
Taken from the syrup, cold rinse until all heat is gone and it can act as a pure spice indicator and pop of colour in the cocktail.

Lime and Mexican Crema Foam:
Using an ISI dispenser (1L) mix equal parts 30% Mexican crema and egg whites with lime juice and confectionary sugar. Once mixed, fill an ISI container and charger with N2O cartridge. Add lime zest as the finishing touch.

Dehydrated Chili and Grilled Corn Salt Rim: 
Put corn kernels and chilis from the strained syrup with salt and lime juice on a baking sheet and dehydrate overnight on a low oven setting. Repeat next night if necessary. Once completely dry pulse until you reach desired texture.

Dehydrated Pineapples:
Cut rind off pineapple and slice in a meat slicer for a 3mm thickness.  stack slices together and roll in corn chili rim. sprinkle non-stick baking tray with a 3:1 sugar to salt mixture and put sliced pineapple on top. Dehydrate at 150 degrees fahrenheit for 9.5 hours.

Maria Paterakis
Maria Paterakis has been a bartender in Toronto for the past decade. In that time, she has helped open some of the city’s hot spots like Soho House, the Chase, and Constantine, poured a million vodka sodas in Yorkville, and created and ran a bar program on the Toronto Islands. Most influential to her career was her time spent at a once great speakeasy called TTS, where she actually barely bartended- just learned and became fascinated with what cocktail bartending could be. She also enjoys painting, eating, and weightlifting, but you can always find her as the Head Bartender at à toi, beyond the champagne cellar, where she’d love to freestyle something for you.
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