Citrus savory showcase of balance

Bertrand at Mister A's Southern Dove may be the official drink of an Indian summer's last hurrah.

Mister A’s Southern Dove
  • Mister A’s Southern Dove

Bertrand at Mister A's

2550 Fifth Avenue, 12th floor, Bankers Hill

Yes, summer is over, but in San Diego, the season makes subtle adjustments to her wardrobe, calls herself “Indian,” and parties on….

To that end, Mister A’s Southern Dove could serve as official drink of (Indian) summer’s last hurrah, replete with the right mix of heat — the citrus-chili salt that rims the glass in which the drink is served — and floating foliage — the muddled cilantro suspended in this savory take on the paloma.

Alvin Pugeda

Alvin Pugeda

According to Mister A’s bartender Alvin Pugeda, this four-seasons and food-friendly drink is the creation of the eatery’s bar manager Zachary Richardson.

“He’s a fan of cilantro — he likes to use a ton of it,” Pugeda tells me. “I imagine that plays as an influence on the drink. We all like to play around with herbs behind the bar. We choose a base liquor and figure out affinities that go with it to make a cocktail.”

But getting back to that cilantro business floating around there in the glass, Pugeda says it does draw some arched eyebrows.

“The cilantro aspect draws a lot of curiosity from patrons,” he says. “So people will ask how that will work out — but usually by their first sip they already like it.”

Tumbled together from shaker to glass, Peguda says, the flavors of the Southern Dove combine in a “citrus savory” showcase of balance.

“The Southern Dove has a bittersweet aspect from the grapefruit, and the cilantro cuts down the sweet of the agave syrup,” he says. “We also use a blanco tequila so it doesn’t overpower the other ingredients, and the grapefruit cuts through the sweetness of the agave and Cointreau. The citrus aspect of the orange liqueur goes well with the lime, too.”


  • • 1½ oz. El Jimador Blanco
  • • 1 oz. lime juice
  • • ¾ oz. Cointreau
  • • ¾ oz. agave syrup
  • • 1 oz. grapefruit juice
  • • 10 leaves cilantro

Muddle cilantro in shaker tin with agave syrup and lime juice, add ice and other ingredients, shake, and empty shaker’s contents, ice and all, into a hurricane glass rimmed with citrus chili salt.*

*On a cookie sheet covered in parchment paper, sprinkle zest of one lemon, one lime, and one orange, three tablespoons of coarse-grain kosher salt and two teaspoons of red chili flakes. Dehydrate in oven at 200 degrees for 30 minutes.

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