The Washington Post

The Clementine

The Clementine 1.000

Laura Chase de Formigny; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Spirits Sep 17, 2020

A longtime favorite at Founding Farmers, this complex and beautifully balanced tequila drink is sweet, tart and spicy, thanks to the use of a tequila infused with citrus and chile, which you’ll need to make in advance. The flamed orange peel garnish adds both theater and aroma, but you can skip it if you prefer.

Make Ahead: The infused tequila needs to be prepared at least 4 days in advance.

Storage Notes: The infused tequila will keep, bottled at room temperature, for up to 1 month.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 1 servings

  • Granulated sugar, for garnish
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Ice
  • 2 ounces infused tequila (see NOTE)
  • 1 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 ounce pineapple juice (preferably fresh)
  • 3/4 ounce Benedictine
  • 1/2 ounce agave syrup
  • 1/4 ounce maraschino liqueur
  • Orange peel, for garnish (optional)


Make a small mound of sugar, then use the lime to dampen the outside rim of a cocktail glass. Roll the exterior rim gently over the mounded sugar so the sugar adheres to the rim. Set the glass aside.

Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the tequila, lime and pineapple juices, Benedictine, agave syrup and maraschino. Shake hard, about 15 seconds, then strain into the cocktail glass.

If garnishing the drink, light a match near the sugar-rimmed glass, then twist the peel (orange side facing the surface of the drink) through the flame. The orange oils expressed from the peel will make a small burst of flame, then settle on the surface of the drink. Serve right away.

NOTE: To make the infused tequila, thoroughly wash 6 clementines, then score their outer rinds, top to bottom, making 6 to 10 cuts around the fruit. Wash a serrano chile, and then halve it lengthwise. Place the clementines and chile in a large jar or bowl, then add 1 liter (about 1 quart) of reposado tequila and let the mixture infuse. Taste regularly (at least daily) to see how spicy the infusion is getting — and once it’s to your liking, discard the chile pieces. Continue to steep the clementines for a full 4 days, then strain out the solids and bottle the infusion. It will keep for a month.

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Recipe Source

From John Arroyo, former Founding Farmers beverage director.

Tested by M. Carrie Allan.

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Nutritional Facts

Ingredients are too variable for a meaningful analysis.

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