Witch's Kiss

Jim Meehan


“I created this for the PDT cocktail menu in the fall of 2008. One of my favorite vendors at the Tompkins Square Park Sunday Greenmarket down the street from PDT was Red Jacket Orchards, which sold an apple butter that reminded me of childhood trips to Michigan, where we spread it on our toast for breakfast. While tequila shines brightest in a summer Margarita, the aged bottlings mix beautifully with fall fruits and vegetables such as apples, pears, pumpkin, and squash. Using the Margarita recipe as my template, I substituted apple butter and Strega, which means “witch” in Italian, for Cointreau and lemon juice for lime. The name alludes to the Widow’s Kiss cocktail, which combines Strega’s French sibling, yellow Chartreuse, and Bénédictine with apple brandy.

When a barback mistakenly infused a whole case of tequila with cinnamon, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to try it in this recipe. I’ve served it with cinnamon-infused tequila ever since. Just add a three-inch stick to a bottle for twenty-four hours, then remove it.” —James Beard Award winner Jim Meehan


  • 2 ounces Siete Leguas reposado tequila
  • 3/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce Strega
  • 1 barspoon (1/2 teaspoon) agave syrup
  • 1 barspoon (1/2 teaspoon) Red Jacket apple butter (or any high-quality apple butter)
  • 1 lemon twist for garnish


Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a chilled coupe. Garnish with the lemon twist.


Reprinted with permission from Meehan’s Bartender Manual, by Jim Meehan, copyright © 2017 by Mixography Inc. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Doron Gild.


1 cocktail