Bartender: Duane Sylvestre
Where: Bourbon Steak, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Mystery Ingredient: Doritos
Bartender Response: Upon seeing the bag of Doritos, Sylvestre ran away from the bar, returning a few minutes later with a gallon of milk. Uh oh. Is he a Doritos fan? “Years ago, I used to be. I haven’t had Doritos in a long time,” he said.
What We Got: A creamy, milky vodka and Peat Monster whiskey cocktail with a bit of chipotle kick to it called “All That and a Bag of Chips.” (Milk and chips, together at last!) Sylvestre’s first instinct was tequilla, but he was afraid of making a drink that was too “taco salad,” and instead decided to riff on the cheesiness of the Doritos.
How It Tasted: It’s crazy how close Doritos are to cereal, if you grind them up and add milk. “I was really surprised how delicate the flavor was,” Sylvestre said of the Doritos’ nacho cheese. “I had to boost it with Danish smoked salt.” The chipotle and Peat Monster enhanced that spicy smokiness, too.
Improv Points (1 to 5): 4. We dig that Sylvestre totally embraced the challenge to make a cocktail that really is all about Doritos, and the milk was a gutsy move. “I love it and I like the color,” Sylvestre said. “It’s like milk punch, but a little bit salty.”
2 1/2 oz. Dorito milk*
1 oz. Tito’s Vodka
1/2 oz. The Peat Monster whiskey
1 canned chipotle pepper
Pinch of Danish smoked salt
*To make Dorito milk: Pour 3 oz. of milk over about 1.5 oz. crushed Doritos. Emulsify with hand blender. Let sit for a few minutes. Strain mixture.
In a mixing glass, add vodka, whiskey, and Dorito milk. Add a pinch of smoked salt and one chipotle pepper. Stir to combine without ice. Pour over crushed ice, garnish with the same chipotle pepper that you stirred in the drink.
Photo by Adele Chapin