El Chapo Cocktail Recipe

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El Chapo Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:~10

Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 16, 2024


El Chapo is a cocktail that seems to have been inspired by the notorious Mexican drug lord of the same name. It's a drink that packs a punch, much like its namesake's reputation. The cocktail is a favorite among those who appreciate a strong and fruity drink with a unique twist.

  • Origin: The exact origin of the El Chapo cocktail is not well-documented, but it's a modern creation that has gained popularity in trendy bars.
  • Popularity: It's particularly popular among younger adults who are looking for something different from the classic cocktails.
  • Occasions: Perfect for summer evenings or as a celebratory drink.

How El Chapo Tastes?

El Chapo cocktail offers a harmonious blend of botanical and fruity flavors. The Fords gin provides a crisp and floral base, while the strawberry-infused Aperol adds a sweet and slightly bitter dimension. The grapefruit beer tops it off with a refreshing and tangy finish, making it a well-rounded and invigorating drink.

Interesting facts about El Chapo

  • Innovation: The use of strawberry-infused Aperol is a creative twist on the traditional Aperol spritz.
  • Versatility: El Chapo can be enjoyed both as a pre-dinner aperitif or a late-night refreshment.
  • Cultural Impact: The cocktail's name often sparks conversation and can be a playful nod to pop culture.


A few good options for El Chapo are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose

Fords Gin

This gin is chosen for its well-balanced botanicals that provide a crisp and clean foundation for the cocktail. Using 1.5oz is a sweet spot for ensuring the gin’s presence without overpowering the mixer's flavors. If you go lighter, you might lose the gin in the mix; too heavy, and you'll dominate the dance floor with just one partner.

Emma Rose

Strawberry-Infused Aperol

This is a twist on traditional Aperol, introducing a fruity summer vibe with a strawberry infusion. It brings a sweet and slightly bitter profile that syncs beautifully with the gin. Leave it out, and you miss the unique, blushing personality of 'El Chapo'. Substitute with regular Aperol for a less fruity note but still a lovely bitter-sweet dance.

Mary Mitkina

Stiegl-Radler Grapefruit Beer

To top off the cocktail, this grapefruit beer gives a refreshing zesty kick that makes you want to take another sip. It helps to lighten the drink and adds a carbonated texture. Without it, you’re losing the fizz and zing that crowns 'El Chapo'. If you can't find this specific beer, a different grapefruit Radler or even a citrusy non-alcoholic beer could play a decent understudy.

Alex Green

Garnish (Strawberry Slices)

Two slices of strawberry not only make the glass look dapper but also create a burst of aroma and a hint of fresh flavor with each sip. No garnish? It's like wearing a suit without a tie - still functional but missing that final touch. Other berries could also do the trick, though they'd introduce a different flavor party.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make El Chapo Drink

  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice.
  2. Add 1 1/2 ounces of Fords gin to the glass.
  3. Pour in 1 ounce of strawberry-infused Aperol.
  4. Top the glass with chilled Stiegl-Radler grapefruit beer.
  5. Garnish with two fresh strawberry slices speared on a cocktail pick.

Pro Tips

  • Strawberry Infusion: For a deeper strawberry flavor, let the Aperol infuse with fresh strawberries for at least 24 hours.
  • Serving Temperature: Serve the cocktail chilled to enhance the refreshing qualities of the drink.
  • Garnish Placement: Place the strawberry garnish on the rim of the glass for an enticing presentation.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Grilled shrimp or fish: The citrus notes from the grapefruit beer complement the seafood's natural flavors.
  • Light salads: A salad with goat cheese, arugula, and nuts would be balanced by the cocktail's tartness and fruitiness.
  • Charcuterie boards: The cocktail's complexity can hold up to strong flavors from a variety of cheeses and cured meats.

Drink Pairings

  • Sparkling water with a splash of grapefruit: To cleanse the palate between sips of the cocktail.
  • Cold brew coffee: The bitterness of coffee could offset the sweetness and tartness from the cocktail.

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What you could change in El Chapo

  • Gin: If Fords gin is not available, a good quality London Dry Gin can be used as a substitute.
  • Strawberry-Infused Aperol: If you can't make your own infusion, muddle fresh strawberries in Aperol as an alternative.
  • Grapefruit Beer: In absence of Stiegl-Radler, any grapefruit-flavored beer or even a grapefruit soda can work in a pinch.

Explore all drinks starting with E here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Chapo

Substitute strawberry-infused Aperol with raspberry-infused Aperol and garnish with raspberries. This will add a sharper, tangy sweetness as opposed to the more subtle sweetness of strawberries.

Chapo Verde

Swap strawberry slices with a thin slice of cucumber and a sprig of fresh mint. This will give the drink a more herbal and refreshing twist, perfect for a hot day.

Spicy Chapo

Rim the glass with a mix of sugar and chili powder before pouring the drink. Add a small slice of jalapeño to the garnish. This creates a sweet, spicy contrast that works surprisingly well with the silky gin and the tart Aperol.

In case you forgot basics how to make El Chapo

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on El Chapo

How do I know if my cocktail is well balanced?

A well-balanced cocktail should have a harmony between its ingredients, with no single taste overpowering the others. This includes sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and alcohol content.

What is Aperol, and can it be used in other cocktails?

Aperol is an Italian aperitif with a slightly bitter, citrusy taste. It's the key ingredient in the Aperol Spritz and can be used in various cocktails to add complexity and a hint of bitterness.

Can I make non-alcoholic versions of cocktails?

Yes, you can create 'mocktails' by substituting alcoholic ingredients with non-alcoholic alternatives like juices, sodas, or non-alcoholic spirits.

Why is gin often used in cocktails?

Gin has a distinct juniper flavor that makes it an excellent base for cocktails. It blends well with a wide range of flavors from other mixers and ingredients.

How important is the garnish in a cocktail?

Garnishes add both visual appeal and can complement or enhance the flavors of a cocktail. Some garnishes also add a fragrant aroma right before you take a sip.

What does 'infused' mean when talking about spirits?

Infused spirits involve adding flavors to the spirit by steeping ingredients, like fruits or herbs, in the liquor over time to extract their flavors.

Is it better to shake or stir a cocktail?

The choice between shaking and stirring a cocktail depends on the ingredients. Typically, cocktails with citrus or other juices, syrups, or creams are shaken, while ones with just spirits or very light mixers are stirred.

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