If there’s one thing that’s for certain (outside death and taxes, of course), it’s that I am a tequila guy. I’m also a bartender, so I’ve made a lot of tequila cocktails over the years. But if I had to choose just one tequila-based cocktail to drink for the rest of my life, it would be a Si Guey. Let’s make one together!
The “Si Guey” comes from someone that has served as a true inspiration for me and part of the reason I got serious about being a bartender. That person is the late Sasha Petraske, who I would say was one of the fathers of the modern craft bartending scene and especially the speakeasy trend we see now. In the book Regarding Cocktails, which he co-wrote with his widow Georgette Moger Petraske, you can find so many recipes and tips about making cocktails and running a bar. I highly recommend it if you are getting into making cocktails, and even if you are a veteran bartender, but if that’s the case, you’d probably know the book already.
The pairing of tequila, orange, and the smokey scotch just freaking works! I have to say, using an Islay scotch whisky is non-negotiable here. I know this is a tequila article but bear with me. Islay is an island off Scotland and one of the five regions in Scotland that produce scotch. The main difference is that peat, which is made of partially decayed vegetation and plant matter, is basically a moss and it grows abundantly in this region because of the area’s grasslands under which it can grow. It only grows in very wet and cold climates which helps delay the decomposition of the vegetation. In Islay, the peat is collected and smoked slowly underneath the malt that is used to make whisky, which is where they get that extra smoky flavor. Okay, scotch lesson over! (But if you want to learn more, check out Jeff Bradford’s new doc on Islay)
The name Si Guey is also partially why I like this cocktail so much. I’ve mentioned this before, but every bar has its own lingo when the staff talks to each other. I’ve worked at bars where we would say “Echo” or “Heard” when someone asked for something. As a nod to all of the Mexicans working at his bars, their lingo for that was “Si Guey” or “Wey!” If you’re not Mexican, the literal translation for “Guey” is a bull, but for Mexicans it’s much more than that. It is mostly used as an endearing word for an equivalent of something like “Bro” or “Dude,” but it can also be used in a more crude way, or even as a negative term like “idiot” or “dumbass.” It’s a truly versatile word to say the least, and most young Mexicans will use it at the end of every sentence. Needless to say, it’s one of my favorite words. I don’t know what it is about it. It’s probably because I can just imagine someone from the back of the house walking up to one of Sasha’s bars and asking for a post-shift drink and just saying “Si Guey.”
Note that you should build this in a rocks glass with ice. To get started, you’ll need:
- 3 dashes of orange bitters
- ¼ Oz of Dry Curaçao.
- 2 Oz of a good Reposado
- Add a float of Islay scotch