Tequila-Spiked Caramel Popcorn

Recipe courtesy of Food + Wine


  • 16 cups air-popped popcorn
  • ½ cup salted roasted peanuts
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Pura Vida Reposado tequila


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees and position racks in the upper and middle thirds. Toss the popcorn with the roasted peanuts in a large heatproof bowl.

In a large saucepan, combine the brown sugar with the butter, agave nectar, corn syrup and salt and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Boil over moderate heat for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat. Using a long spoon, stir in the baking soda and tequila; the syrup will foam. Immediately pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and peanuts. Using 2 spoons, toss to coat thoroughly.

Spread the popcorn on 2 nonstick baking sheets and bake for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and switching the sheets hallway thought, until golden and nearly dry. Turn off the oven, open the oven door completely and let the popcorn cool completely before serving.


6 Tips + Techniques for Better Cocktails










Do you find your libations lacking? Are your mixed drinks mediocre? Well, you’re in luck because here are the top six tips to make your cocktails out of this world!

  1. Start simple.

Remember, you have to crawl before you can walk. Experiment with simple spirits and even simpler recipes until you’ve got your foundation.

  1. Use the right tools.

You don’t need an arsenal, but you do need some basic bartending tools at your disposal, including a graduated shot glass, cocktail shaker, and bar spoon. Also…use them! It might look cool to eyeball a concoction a la Tom Cruise in Cocktail, but if you want good results, always take the time to measure!

  1. Chill out.

Chill…your glassware that is. It minimizes dilution and can do wonders for your drinks.

  1. Opt for fresh.

It’s no surprise that fresh is better, and that goes for juice as well as mixers. For the best results, use your juice within thirty minutes of squeezing, and use a freshly opened single-serving mixer.

  1. Use the right ice.

Yes, there are differences in ice, and using the right ice matters to your cocktail (a lot). Rather than tap water, use filtered or boiled water, and always seal your cocktail ice in a separate bag. This minimizes unpleasant absorbed flavors from the freezer.

  1. Do your homework.

Knowing a bit about the world of cocktails can dramatically improve your products. For one, “cocktails” and “mixed drinks” seem interchangeable, but they’re actually two different animals. Learn what to stir, what to shake, and what to pour directly over ice.

Learning how to create the perfect cocktail doesn’t happen overnight. It takes practice—lots of it—but with these six tips, you’ll be well on your way to cocktails that rival the best of ’em!

5 Killer Holiday Drink Recipes You Don’t Want to Miss









Looking to create some unique cocktails this holiday season? Here are five spins on classic holiday cheer that will have you…well, cheering!

  1. Mexican Egg Nog

Yield: one gallon


12 large eggs
18 oz (by volume) granulated sugar
3 tsp freshly-grated nutmeg
12 oz Pura Vida Anejo
15 oz Amontillado sherry
36 oz whole milk
24 oz heavy cream


In a blender or stand mixer on low speed, beat eggs until smooth. Slowly add nutmeg and sugar until incorporated and dissolved. Slowly add sherry, tequila, milk, and cream. Refrigerate overnight and serve in small chilled cups. Dust with fresh nutmeg before serving.


  1. Pomegranate Ginger Paloma



  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 inch fresh ginger chopped
  • 8 leaves mint


  • crushed ice
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
  • juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 2-4 tablespoons ginger syrup
  • 2-3 ounces Pura Vida Reposado
  • ginger beer or sparkling water for topping



Bring 1/2 cup water, the honey, and ginger to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, simmer 1-2 minutes and then remove from the heat. Add the mint, cover, and steep 10-15 minutes. Strain out the ginger and mint. Store in a glass jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


Fill your glass halfway with ice. Add the pomegranate juice, grapefruit juice, lime juice, syrup, and tequila. Stir to combine and then top with ginger beer. Garnish with mint. Enjoy!


  1. Frozen Mexican Hot Chocolate

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Total Time: 10 minutes, plus freezing time 


  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1½ cups Pura Vida Reposado
  • 1½ cups Pacific all-natural hazelnut chocolate beverage
  • ½ cup Naranja Orange Liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch cayenne pepper


In a large bowl, whisk all of the ingredients until smooth. Transfer to ice cube trays and freeze until solid, 4 to 6 hours. Transfer the cubes to a blender and purée until a smooth, thick slush forms. Divide between glasses and serve.


  1. Apple Cider Margarita

Yield: 2 cocktails

Total Time: 5 minutes


For the Rim:

  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar

For the Cocktail:

  • 6 ounces apple cider
  • 4 ounces Pura Vida Silver (Blanco)
  • 1 ounce Ginger Simple Syrup

(I have a bottle from World Market, but you can make your own by combining ½ cup water, ½ cut sugar, and a thumb size of ginger grated in a saucepan. Bring to boil until sugar dissolves, and let sit until completely cool. Strain and discard ginger.)

  • 1 ounce Naranja Orange Liqueur
  • Apple slice for garnish


  • Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on a shallow plate.
  • Dip the edge of glasses into apple cider, and then dip into the cinnamon sugar to rim the edges of the glass. Fill the glasses with ice.
  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, and add the apple cider, tequila, ginger simple syrup, and orange liqueur. Shake until chilled. Strain into ice-filled glasses.
  • Garnish with an apple slice.


  1. White Christmas Margarita Punch

Yield: Serves about 6

Total Time: 20 minutes


  • 10 ounces Pura Vida Silver
  • 8 ounces Naranja Orange Liqueur
  • 8 ounces lime juice
  • 8 ounces coconut water
  • 8 ounces canned coconut milk
  • 6 ounces coconut cream
  • 6 ounces coconut rum
  • 6 ounces simple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract, if desired
  • For garnish: sprigs of rosemary and fresh cranberries


Mix all ingredients together well. (For a large-scale drink like this, I find it works best to make anything creamy (the coconut) in a large measuring glass or bowl and whisk it all together as opposed to shaking it.) If desired, you can add 1 to 2 teaspoons of coconut extract for more island-y coconut flavor! Taste and add more syrup if you’d like more sweetness.

Note: to make the simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.

Pura Vida Tequila 2017 Gift Guide













The holidays are just around the corner, and whether you’re buying for yourself or another tequila lover in your life, here’s the definitive gift guide you need this season! From stocking stuffers to presents, Pura Vida has you covered.

Love to hike? Love to drink? Love to hike and drink? The Adventure Happy Hour System is for you! Comes with a stackable shaker, strainer, citrus juicer, and four rocks glasses. Campfire margarita, anyone?


Includes a beautiful leather and canvas travel bag and three Carry On Cocktail kits (old fashioned, gin and tonic, and Moscow mule). Comes with everything you need—ingredients, tools, and instructions—to concoct your mid-flight cocktail bliss.

Ever wanted to take a full bar with you wherever you go? Now you can! Packed into this canvas and leather bag (available in forest green, navy, or white) is a mason shaker, a muddler, a jigger, two linen cocktail napkins, and two cocktail coupes. Fill with the spirits of your choosing and enjoy.

Put your feet up and relax this holiday season—while sending everyone a not-so-subtle message: if you can read this, bring me tequila! Handmade, high quality, and hilarious. Sure to brighten any stocking.

For the true tequila connoisseur, this tequila-scented candle boasts a woody aroma with undertones of vanilla and honey.

A classic gift that can be personalized with a name or monogram for a special twist. Handcrafted from recycled blown glass, each product is unique, sturdy, beautiful, and eco friendly.

Add a bit of fun and flair to your kicks. Great for parties, nights out on the town, or just hanging out with friends. These fun slip-ons are sure to become a wardrobe go-to.

Bring a splash of color to any kitchen with these 4” x 4” coaster sets. Each one is hand painted and sure to be as unique and vibrant as the recipient! Lots of styles and patterns to choose from.

Airport travel is the worst! Make it a bit more bearable with this fun, unique luggage tag. The leather strap and waterproof acrylic material help ensure it will survive through countless security scans and trips around the baggage carousel.

Make someone’s holiday a little bit merrier this year with any of these boozy baubles!

Sugared Holiday Cranberry Garnish















Bring 2 cups of sugar and 2 cups of water to a simmer over low heat. Remove from heat before it starts to boil, pour the syrup over two cups of cranberries and refrigerate overnight. Drain the cranberries the next day and let them dry a few minutes until tacky. Roll cranberries in superfine sugar and let dry in a single layer for an hour to two. Use rosemary sprigs and orange slices to make your holiday cocktails extra festive!

Perfect for any Pura Vida Tequila cocktail!

Margarita Mega Merger

On November 9th, Texas-based Pura Vida Spirits Company and Milestone Brands officially teamed up to take the original Mexican Orange Liqueur, NARANJA, “nationwide” as ZZ Top front man and Pura Vida Spirits investor, Billy Gibbons, likes to say. Bolstered by the significant resources and successes of the Milestone Brands team, NARANJA will launch nationwide in January 2018. Milestone Brands formed in February 2016 by former Deep Eddy Vodka CEO, Eric Dopkins and Deep Eddy Vodka co-founder, Chad Auler.

NARANJA is produced by La Madrileña, brand owner of Controy, the original creator of the Mexican orange liqueur. NARANJA is the secret ingredient necessary for any authentic Mexican margarita, and for nearly a century this premium orange liqueur was available only in Mexico. Now that the secret is out, thanks to Milestone brands and Pura Vida Spirits Company, margarita lovers everywhere will soon be able to make margaritas taste like they do in Mexico with NARANJA.

To understand the significance of the NARANJA and its rich Mexican history, we must first look back to the creation of the first Margarita in October of 1941 at Hussong’s Cantina in Ensenada, Mexico. One particularly slow afternoon, while Don Carlos Orozco was experimenting with mixing new drinks, a prestigious visitor arrived, Margarita Henkel, daughter of the German ambassador. Don Carlos offered his newest creation to Miss. Margarita to taste and she loved it so much that he decided to name it “La Margarita” in her honor, as she was the first person ever to drink one. Legend has it, that inaugural margarita was little more than a mixture of equal parts tequila, NARANJA, and lime; shaken and served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass.

Tradition is—and always will be—the cornerstone of NARANJA, and its continued success and growth into a bigger market will rely heavily on its recipe and packaging, both of which speak to the unique heritage of Mexico. A truly authentic margarita can only happen with Mexican ingredients, and Naranja was one of the two base spirits in the invention of the now-iconic Mexican cocktail. As Pura Vida Chairman, Stewart Skloss, likes to say, “Margaritas come from Mexico, so should the ingredients.”

Moreover, “As the Tequila category continues to grow, we feel NARANJA will play a significant role using a recipe and package that speak to the heritage of Mexico,” said Eric Dopkins, founder and CEO of Milestone Brands.

Skloss added, “I’m thrilled about the acquisition for this truly authentic brand and look forward to supporting the Milestone team on NARANJA’S projected growth.”

In such a competitive vertical, NARANJA has an important edge. Being the original spirit in the original margarita, it will always stand as the emblem of authenticity in orange liqueurs.

Drink Tequila Like a Boss


Tequila, especially Pura Vida’s organic, small-batch spirits, is no longer a party lubricant to slam down your gullet with a lick of salt, wedge of lime, and a prayer the following morning doesn’t begin with a nasty hangover. The days of Tequila Mixtos, low-grade agave nectar mixed with non-agave sugars, are past. Now is the age of Jalisco-born, officially-regulated, 100% agave-smooth spirits enjoyed in high-end cocktails and (surprise!) by sipping.

Since Pura Vida works passionately to cultivate and perfect our boutique beverages to highlight the complex range of flavors of our beloved high-altitude-sweetened agave, sipping from appropriate glassware is highly recommended. The budding tequila enthusiast will reach instinctively for a shot glass, but wait a minute! The miniscule space provided by these tiny glasses robs you of a larger sensory experience.

We at Pura Vida suggest pouring your favorite PV tequila in a rocks or white wine glass in order to allow the aromas of our distilled agaves to aerate and bloom, such an oenophile does with fine wine. And, like a wine enthusiast, take your time rediscovering and enjoying tequila by utilizing traditional full-sensory wine tasting etiquette.

First, hold up your glass and admire the purity of color. Marvel at the crystal clarity of the triple-distilled beauty of our Pura Vida Silver and the range of luscious amber shades of our Reposado, Añejo, and Extra Añejo tequilas. All of our aged spirits are all ripened in second-generation oaken bourbon and cognac barrels.

Then, wave a hand over the top of your glass and breathe in the various scents brought out of the agave and our barrels through the aging process. You should catch the notes of mint and agave’s spice in our young Silver and the jasmine, vanilla, pineapple, ginger and oak hints in our matured Reposados and Añejos.

Now, slowly take a sip and observe the mouth-feel of each type of tequila. Since Pura Vida starts every batch by distilling and straining each three times, our tequilas are some of the smoothest on the market. The only “catch” you may feel on your tongue is the honeyed heft of the Añejos as they gain body with the caramelization of their sugars through the years’ long maturation process.

And while you roll those sensuous sips of Pura Vida around your mouth and over your whole palate, observe each flavor-profile. Do you taste the jasmine, agave, and slightly peppery finish we’ve found in our Silver? How about the bit of mint and lighter jasmine notes intertwined with the sweet notes of oak, chocolate and vanilla in our Reposado? In the Añejo, do you taste the deeper vanilla tones with some raisin, coffee, and peppered floral brought out of the oak barrel too? And, finally, in the Extra Añejo, can you identify a more exotically fruity profile, including undertones of lychee and guava mixed with the spicy oak and subtly grassy herbaceous flavors? Do you taste other flavors?

So, throw the salt and shot glasses over your shoulder and hit any devils lurking there urging you to waste precious and delicious pours of Pura Vida by slamming shots. Instead, order up a pairing of Silver and Sangrita (read more below) for a new-to-you flavor experience. Or request any Pura Vida Tequila neat in a rocks glass, sans rocks, turn to your neighbor, and spread some educational wealth about your favorite liquor. Sip the good life together!

Bartender of the Month – Travis Hebrank


Name: ­­­­­
Travis Hebrank

Polite Society Restaurant and Bar

Highland, IL

Favorite Vacation Spot?
This is a toughy… I’ve had great times in Paris, San Fransisco and also in my backyard. So… Let’s say… My backyard.

What are you streaming on TV right now?
Well, GoT just ended for the season, so I’m back to streaming my go-to’s, 30-Rock, Futurama and South Park. Cowboy Bebop is always in the rotation.

Three things you can’t live without?
Air, Water and Food

How long have you been bartending?
Really not terribly long. I’ve only been in the industry for about 4 years. I’ve been bartending for about 2. What I lack in experience I make up for in enthusiasm. I’m also really good at convincing people that I know what I’m doing.

What are some of your hobbies?
I read a lot, play around with music in various forms, go to movies… normal stuff.

Any time a menu uses the word “fresh”. “Fresh Lime” in a margarita… It makes me immediately assume that everything without the “fresh” qualifier is NOT fresh: not a great state of affairs.

What’s the most important skill a bartender should have?
Personality is definitely important (and sadly, often a neglected element), but I think efficiency and accuracy are perhaps more important. It really depends on what type of bar you are working at…. 500 people clambering for budweisers don’t need you to have a cheery personality, they need you to be quick.

How do you approach making cocktails? And how do you incorporate that style into your bar’s cocktail menu?
I tend to start with the flavor/aromatic combinations, because I feel like the structure can generally be fixed relatively easily (with sugar, salt, citrus or bitters). So I tend to start with a flavor idea: I have one cocktail, the Thai Fighter, that started with the idea “wow, Pad Thai is incredible”, so I tried to incorporate lime, cilantro, ginger, peanuts. It ended up working really well.. The menu follows these creations while also taking into consideration what I think people with LIKE, what I think they will ORDER, while always keeping an eye on the season.

What’s your cocktail-making style in in three words?
Creative but Delicious

What do you drink on your night off?
I’m the beverage director at Polite Society, so I have to keep an eye on every aspect of the beverage world… Having said that, I probably spend the most money on wine.

What trends have you spotted in cocktails?
A trend that I dislike: anything that makes it difficult to drink the drink. “Here, smell this, and then dab a drop of this potion on your left ear lobe and then close your eyes and suck on this rock… then drink this cocktail out of this eyedropper.”
Trends that I DO like: trying to introduce people to new things by guiding them in… presenting new ingredients or techniques in a way that doesn’t inflate the bartenders ego, but makes the guest smile and want to try MORE new things.

What’s a cocktail you’ve added to the menu that you think people should drink now?
Well, I feel that I should mention, I’ve got a Pura Vida cocktail that’s going on the menu soon: I reduced a west coast IPA down with a few types of peppercorn and some herbs to make a syrup. Pura Vida Añejo is the base spirit: to accentuate some pepper notes while rounding things out with the oak influence. Lychee liqueur to accentuate the tropic notes of the hops in the syrup. Green Chartreuse to accentuate the earthier components of the syrup. The IPA syrup provides the bitterness and sugar, with a touch of lactic acid. Lemon juice and splash of club soda to finish things off.

I also have an egg white cocktail using a root beer syrup that I made from scratch with 6 different kinds of roots and about 30 other ingredients. I think a Cachaça base is going to win out. Don’t want to get in the way of the complexity of the root beer syrup though.

SangriTa, Not Sangria…


Sangrita, Spanish for “little blood”, is the traditional Mexican potion with which those in the know pair with their favorite glasses of Pura Vida Silver or ReposadoTequilas. Those who are REALLY in the know, choose Pura Vida’s El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita to create the magic of an authentic Mexican flavor adventure.

The origin story of Sangrita is debated as to the whom and the how of its beginnings, but many sources agree its popularity arose in Mexico’s Jalisco region around the 1920s as a method to cut the sting of earlier, homemade tequilas. As tequila evolved into a smooth and choice spirit of discerning palates, it’s pairing with sangrita advanced in sophistication, too.

Sangrita is made from the blending of tomato juice (or pomegranate juice – another long-standing debate), orange juice, lime juice, onions, salt, and chilies. The red of the tomato juice gives it its “blood red” color, while the rest of the recipe produces a complex and complimentary flavor partner to the sugars and spices of Pura Vida’s organically grown and carefully cultivated agave goodness.

Our El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita secret family recipe was perfected with a tomato juice base to complement the nuanced flavors of our Pura Vida Tequilas. And earns its gourmet status by being prepared in small, boutique batches while only using the finest all-natural, organic ingredients.

So, next time you crave a “spirited” trip down to Jalisco, order up a Banderita (“little flag”) – a glass each of lime juice, your favorite Pura Vida Tequila (Silver or Reposado – recommend), and El Guapo’s Handmade Sangrita, the colors of your sips mirroring the colors of the Mexican flag. Enjoy a genuine Mexican experience… Sip the Good Life!