618 Fifth Avenue, Downtown San Diego
The main author of Henry’s cocktail menu, bar manager Kyle Barnett, claims that the name for “Chachi’s Poncho” came out of nowhere one day while he and his gang of bartenders were experimenting with tequila-based drinks.
“The name came from the idea of something cool but also something that will keep you warm — the right mix of juice and liquor,” Barnett says. “As for the poncho, well, this poncho will keep you warm, for sure.”
Not all the gang’s attempts were as successful, Barnett says, recalling one potion they made using bar syrup, watermelon, and jalapeños. “We stepped back at that point,” he says with a laugh, “and we looked at each other and said, ‘This has become a disaster! How did we get to this point?’” Going back to the drawing board — or cutting board and juice squeezer — Barnett and Co. eventually developed the successful Chachi’s Poncho.
Chachi’s Poncho is a strong cocktail, Barnett admits, but its strength is at least partially cloaked by the unique combination of citrus, vanilla, and cucumber.
“You’ll get a punch from Chachi’s, but the combination of refreshing flavors is definitely the most important part about it,” he says. “You get some hints of vanilla, and the cucumber brings out the different fruits in Licor 43 [a vanilla/orange liqueur], and with the agave and lime, it’s not too citrusy and brings out the hints of vanilla and orange.”
Kitchen Proof: There are two versions of this drink that came out of my kitchen — one with a more “healthy” squeeze of agave to sweeten the deal and one with more lime. Either way, Chachi’s Poncho is not just another umbrella cocktail.
Henry’s Pub’s Chachi’s Poncho
Pour the following into a cocktail shaker with ice:
- 2 oz. of Peligroso Añejo Tequila
- 1/4 oz. Licor 43
- 1 squirt of lime juice
- 1 squirt of agave nectar
- 2 cucumber slices
Shake — allowing ice to muddle cucumber in shaker — and pour over ice in a rim-salted rocks glass with a wedge of lime for garnish.