Chimayó Is The Spiced Apple Cider Cocktail You've Been Missing

It's no secret that some folks are beginning to tire of a particular annual food trend: Pumpkin spice isn't the only fall flavor, you know. But, the same back-and-forth debate is being had in the mixology realm as well. When you think about fall cocktails, there's probably a pretty low chance that tequila comes to mind; at best, you might order the agave-based Mezcal Negroni. Even Cocktail Society says that, when fall rolls around, rum, cognac, and whiskey "take over" for gin and tequila. Indeed, this seems to be the popular consensus in the cocktail world. Autumn gives way to the world of dark liquors, which means Manhattans, Bourbon Sours, and French Connections — that is, until now.

Today, we're talking about the superstar of the fall mixology world that you've probably never heard of. Introducing: the Chimayó, the autumnal cocktail for tequila fans. (At long last.) Per The Spruce Eats, the Chimayó was created during the 1960s by New Mexican restaurateur Arturo Jaramillo, owner of Rancho de Chimayó, which mixologists far and wide can still visit today. The story goes that Jaramillo invented the Chimayó not based on inspiration, but on utility: There were simply too many apples and they needed to be used up. So, why has it enjoyed such an enduring fanbase? And what does it taste like?

Tequila and apple cider combine for a seasonal sip

The Chimayó is reminiscent of a hot toddy but is served chilled — and, unlike a toddy, it doesn't feature the traditionally cold-month spirit of brandy. It's like how White Russians are the more "cocktail-y" version of Irish coffee.

According to liquor giant Patrón, the Chimayó is a combination of reposado tequila, crème de cassis, dark apple cider, and spiced syrup. In case you haven't worked with it before, crème de cassis is a tart liqueur made from macerated black currants, via Thrillist. It's a dimensional, flavorful, fruity-without-being-sweet tool in the mixologist's arsenal. The apple juice and crème de cassis are a complementary combo that make this nearly 21% ABV cocktail go down shockingly smooth, says Difford's Guide. This cocktail would also likely benefit from Casamigos reposado tequila, which would bring natural notes of spicy oak and dried fruit to the Chimayó's already earthy-yet-dry flavor profile.

There is one discrepancy as to how the Chimayó should be assembled. Patròn says stirred and served in a Collins glass, while Difford's Guide's version is shaken and served in a martini glass. Our verdict? Dealer's choice. Although, garnishing with an apple slice can't hurt for either version.