behind the bardrinksentertainingFood & Drinkkristina gillrecipes

behind the bar: brittany maguire’s rosada

by Kristina Gill

As I prepare the cocktails for this column, I’m slowly entering a world that was previously completely unknown to me. One question on my Facebook wall about where to buy a certain brand of bitters sparked a flurry of responses and links from many friends who are passionate about high quality drink. I can definitely see how one could become quite fascinated with mixing drinks and making syrups, bitters and the like. This week’s recipe for the Rosada, which can be found on The Comrade’s summer cocktail, is the creation of a very enthusiastic bartender, Brittany Maguire. The color is all natural, from hibiscus flowers infused in tequila. However, there’s another great ingredient whose color doesn’t show up but whose taste sure does. Brittany serves hers garnished with cucumber and hibiscus petals, but I stopped just short of the petals. Do you infuse liquor for homemade cocktails? If so and you’d like to share, don’t be afraid to send us an email through the submissions address. — Kristina

About Brittany: Brittany is a small town girl who moved to Toronto just over five years ago to pursue a career in journalism. She began bartending while working several unpaid editorial internships and fell in love with the craft of creating cocktails and infusions. She dabbles in bitter infusions and homemade syrups and shrubs. Her cocktails tend to be floral and girly, which is very much a reflection of how she sees herself. She loves to work with tea infusions and ingredients that may turn a cocktail pink or red. When she transitions from bartending, hopefully in 10-ish years, she plans to open a flower and tea shop, perhaps in Toronto or some place warmer. In mid-August she will be moving from The Comrade to The Drake, also located in Toronto.

See the recipe for the Rosada after the jump . . .

The Rosada
Serves one

  • 2 oz hibiscus-infused premium tequila blanca
  • 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
  • splash of Pernod


Combine ingredients in a shaker and shake on ice. Serve on the rocks. Garnish with cucumber slices.

*Brittany uses 8–10 dried hibiscus petals per 750ml of tequila blanca for her infusion.

Why Brittany Loves This Cocktail

I love this cocktail because it is so fresh and bright. The name and floral component I think can be a bit deceiving because the spirits I used can be fairly intimidating. I think about women a lot when I’m making my cocktails. Partly because classic cocktails have somehow developed a very masculine enjoyer or consumer. I like to use serious spirits but give them a bit of a disguise, make them sound so delicious that they forget about the time they drank too much tequila in college. This drink is one you want to have at the end of the night, to finish with a great, lasting flavor.

Suggested For You


  • If I can find hibiscus leaves, I’m trying this one. But can I ask where that gorgeous tray is from?

  • Hi Girlie–

    I should have written hibiscus flowers/petals. I got them at a health food store, I think they are quite easy to find because people use them for tea-type infusions. The tray is by Molly Hatch. I believe it was a custom design. You can find her details at http://mollyhatch.com I hope you’re able to find both the dried hibiscus and something by Molly! -k

  • There is a Mexican recipe for aqua fresca and for popsicles that use shibiscus flower water (you boil them and then steep them in the water with sugar). My Mexican-born spouse tells me this is a pretty typical summer refreshment. But to pair it with Tequila is genius!

  • Also: you can buy dried hibiscus flowers in bulk at any Mexcian or Latino grocery. They are a very typical ingredient in Mexican drinks and desserts.

  • Hibiscus flowers are often called Jamaica in Latin stores. In Jamaica where they also use them for tea/infusions they are called sorrel. They are actually quite fun to make as a tea/infusion. If the dried flowers are still fairly whole they “bloom” in the hot water and look like anemones. The color is gorgeous, and it’s a wonderfully refreshing, tart drink. I like it pure, but sugar or honey would sweeten it.

    I tried this recipe (I’d been wondering what to do with the bottle of green Chartreuse!). I didn’t have lemon so used lime and didn’t have the cucumber for garnishing. It’s a great cocktail…and soooo pretty.