Tiki Drink: Pinky Gonzales

Tiki Drink: Pinky Gonzales

Let’s try another recipe from Trader Vic’s Tiki Party, shall we?
Here we go:


  • 2 oz. Inocente tequila
  • .5 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice, save the lime half.
  • .5 oz. Cointreau
  • .25 oz. simple syrup
  • .25 oz. orgeat
  • 2 cups crushed ice

Shake all thoroughly together and pour without straining in to a double old-fashioned glass.
Garnish with the spent lime half, and whatever else looks good from the produce department.

This is a decent little low-ball cocktail. Given all the Mai Tai mania that has gripped the cocktailosphere lately, it should be apparent to many of you that this is essentially the Trader’s take on a Mai Tai with tequila. The Pinky Gonzales is certainly sweet, but it’s not sticky or cloying. There are a lot of flavors here and they open up in your mouth as you sip, with that tequila bite showing up on the back end. It is very clean on the mouth afterwards, which is an odd feature of a lot of tequila drinks. Tequila has that funk that announces itself in no uncertain terms, but that funk also seems to clear the decks behind it. Of course, tequila will clear the decks cognitively too, if you let it.

inocenteI’ll throw in a word or two here about the tequila I used, Inocente. This triple-distilled white tequila is one of the gentlest tequila’s I’ve ever encountered. If you like the funky background in Margaritas, but stay away from other tequila cocktails because of the severely in your face character of the spirit, Inocente is a damn good tequila to broaden your horizons with. If you intend to do some shots, and want to make sure your crowd will go for a second round, Inocente is a very smooth choice that should scare off the minimum number of drinkers. If the softness of the liquor is not sufficient incentive, you can tell them that the company claims that the triple distillation process reduces the hangover-inducing contaminants.
If you are a serious connoisseur of tequila, you may find Inocente a bit bland, or over-processed. That’s OK, no liquor should be all things to all people, or we’d have no need for all this wonderful variety we have.
As a final note, the bottle they use is gorgeous, and deserves a spot on your display shelf. When I finish this bottle, I’ll be reusing it in-house, either on the bar for infusions, or in the bath for homemade bath unguents. Reduce—Reuse—Recyle!

So how does the Pinky Gonzales compare to its progenitor? Is it better than a classic Mai Tai? Hush your mouth! It lacks the melded depth of the Mai Tai, probably because tequila lacks the depth of old or mixed rums. I considered that this might be put down to the Inocente’s purity, but I imagine that if you used a more full-flavored (more impurity-laden?) tequila, you would get less meld more than more depth. Overall, the drink is still a nice little diversion. I’ll probably make it again for myself at some point, and I’ll certainly keep its recipe on hand in the event a guest wants something with tequila and it’s a Tiki night.
And there are some other more general things to discuss about Tiki that the Pinky Gonzales illustrates.
I had never thought of the spent lime halves I produce so many of these days (shut up, Gabe!) as having any use beyond clogging the disposal. Yet, this was only the first of many drinks I’ve run across which employs the lime shell as a proposed garnish. It works surprisingly well. A lot of Tiki garnishes seem a bit of a waste of good ingredients, but this one is essentially free. Reduce—Reuse—Recycle! See? Wouldn’t Al Gore be proud? I’ll bet that Pinky Gonzaleses are all they serve at his house….
Finally, I gotta talk about the name: Pinky Gonzales. It’s… well, it’s a bit stupid really. And I’m sure it’s politically incorrect. (Maybe the staff doesn’t serve these at Chez Gore.) BOTI member Dr. Bamboo examined the whiff of blasphemous that appealed to stuffed-shirt WASPs of the old days. Perhaps the tinge of politically incorrect that pervades most of Tiki (not just the Pinky Gonzales) is part of the resurgent appeal of Tiki today. Political religions aside, the name is silly. And lots of Tiki Drinks have silly names, e.g. Doctor Funk of Tahiti, The Colonel’s Big Opu, and The Zombie. Before the month is out, I’m going to come up with one decent Tiki drink of my own and give it a completely ridiculous name….


  1. Janis Bosenko

    6 March

    I have quite a few Pinky Gonzales ceramic mugs from my early drinking days. They are certainly politically incorrect but fun.

      (Quote)  (Reply)

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