More Cocktails with Andrew Stevens
Mezcal is one of the most interesting categories for distillates these days with a booming popularity despite so many brands on the market being unknown. In many ways these may be the glory days for mezcal in that you can get an incredible variation and selection, not only from agave to agave, but from producer to producer—at times even from batch to batch. Yet, despite the growth of fantastic sipping mezcal and all the complexity it carries, it is still the mezcal cocktail that truly fascinates me. Mezcal is rapidly becoming as useful as gin for me in my home bar. It has so much flavor to offer in a drink and you can dress it up in so many ways. Seriously, there is almost no shortage of cool drinks to be made by substituting mezcal for gin or vodka in a drink much less your tequila. I love the smoky and fruity characteristic that this spirit has to offer and the way it can play off of herbal French, bitter Italian, or sweet American liqueurs.
My birthday falls near Halloween so every year my wife and I have a duel Halloween/birthday costume party. This year I decided to play around with mezcal in a very traditional cocktail for that time of year: the Corpse Reviver 2. I started the recipe with the Alipus San Andres mezcal, which has been a good mixing mezcal for me, being well balanced in flavors of candied fruit and interesting smoke (although any well-balanced mezcal could work here). Although Cointreau is usually used for the orange liqueur element and works well here, I went with the less expensive Suau orange liqueur but kept the traditional Lillet Blanc and of course fresh squeezed lemon juice. Putting all the ingredients into the shaker I gave it a good four or five shakes to really combine the spirits and break up the ice (but not too much so as to create a sea of ice chips), and did a "dirty dump" into a tulip glass. A highball would have also worked, but I wanted to utilize the tulip glasses I had. After that I took the bottle of our Faultline "Jaime Hernandez Special Edition" absinthe that I have been keeping around and poured a small float on top of the cocktail. The idea here is to really bring about those beautiful aromatics of absinthe without necessarily overwhelming the palate with the flavor. Garnish with a twist. That's it!
If you've been curious about what to do with that half-empty bottle of mezcal sitting on your bar, this is a great option:
-1 oz mezcal
-3/4 oz orange liquour
-3/4 oz Lillet Blanc
-3/4oz lemon juice
-float of absinthe
Garnish with a lemon twist
If you have any other questions about cocktails feel free to track me down in the San Francisco store!