For many people, the act of consuming alcohol is of equal importance as the outcome. All you have to do is look at the number of drinking games that exist in the world to understand that half the fun in being drunk is getting drunk. But this ceremonial side of boozing isn’t just restricted to games of flip cup or vodka tampons (thank god) — tequila shots, sake bombs, and even that weird snorting thing winos do into their glasses are all part of the ritual of drinking. I personally appreciate Venezuela‘s contribution to this aspect of global drinking culture, not only because it’s delicious but because with a name like El Ritual, it’s incredibly self-aware:
- Fill a shot glass with an aged Venezuelan sipping rum like Pampero Aniversario or Santa Teresa 1796. If you can’t afford one of these high quality rums, work your way down the ladder until you find a dark Venezuelan rum that fits your price point. Just make sure it’s Venezuelan, though, because otherwise the drink loses the worldly aspect I’m trying to play up here.
- Procure a few limes and cut them into wedges. This is a pretty standard procedure so if you struggle with it maybe you shouldn’t be drinking at all.
- Take a plate and pour brown sugar and instant coffee into two separate piles. Now things are starting to get interesting.
- Grab one of your lime wedges and dip one side into the brown sugar, the other into instant coffee crystals.
- Suck that lime like your life depends on it, letting the mixture of tart juice, sweet sugar, and bitter coffee get your mouth all nice and weird tasting.
- Sip down half of your shot of rum, which will marry with the strange flavors in your mouth to create an intense-yet-delicious swig of booze.
- Down the rest of your shot to top El Ritual off with what one website referred to as a “rich, warm, buttery taste.”
The odd combination of flavors, the weird fuzzy-headed feeling that you get when you mix caffeine and liquor, and the fact that you have to do it all in two gulps might deter you from trying El Ritual. But if you want to drink like a true Venezuelan or, more likely, to show the guests at your next party that you’re super worldly, you better suck it up and suck one down.
recipe and image via Venezuelan Food and Drinks