Make Classic Cocktails Like Agua Caliente Casinos’ Bartenders

Here are five recipes to try at home.

Amelia Rodriguez Restaurants


If you’ve ever wondered why we dub the marriage of spirits and mixers a “cocktail,” well, you may have to keep guessing. The term’s origin is hotly debated. Some say it’s drawn from a mispronunciation of the French word coquetier, or egg cup, which was the vessel for an 18th century apothecary’s blend of brandy and bitters. Others argue that mixed drinks’ invigorating effect reminded horse racegoers of the perky demeanor of steeds with clipped tails (or “cocktails,” since the docked hair resembled rooster feathers). Those are only two of the theories.

Whatever the name’s origin, most of us know one thing: what we like to drink. Some folks prefer sweet, fruity mixes, and others like the rich, spicy charm of a classic Old Fashioned. Sippers of all stripes will find their match on Agua Caliente Casinos’ diverse cocktail menus.

Tableside Smoked Old Fashioned

ounces Makers Mark
Splash of bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice, pour in smoke decanter, pour over ice in bucket glass, garnish with cinnamon stick. 

Long Beach Cosmo

½ ounce vodka
½ ounce gin
½ ounce rum
½ ounce tequila
½ ounce triple sec
Splash of cranberry juice

Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a martini glass, garnish with lime wedge.

Elderflower Cocktail

1 ounce St. Germain
1 ounce sparkling wine 
Top off with soda water

Combine all ingredients in a Champagne flute, garnish with lemon

Heat of the Desert

ounces Patron Reposado
1 ounce of lime juice
Splash of pineapple juice
Splash of agave syrup

Shake all ingredients with jalapeño, strain into tajín- rimmed tall glass, garnish with lime wedge and jalapeño.

Sapphire Berry Lemonade

1½ ounces Bombay Sapphire  
1 ounce lemonade soda water   

Muddle raspberry and lemon wedge in a tall glass, add ice, combine all ingredients in glass, garnish with raspberry and lemon wedge.

This story originally appeared in MeYah Whae: The Magazine of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Spring/Summer 2023.