COCKTAILS WITH MEZCAL part 2 – JALISCO SMOKE

In this second post in my series about cocktails with mezcal it starts with tequila:

After a visit to the Cocktail Chronicles this spring reading the recipe for the tequila libation ”Flor de Jalisco” made by Death & Co bartender Joaquin Simo, this cocktail caught my attention and sparkled my appetite. I made one and it was so nice, it`s easy to mix yet it does have that little extra omph. Then on my recent trip to the US and the Tales in New Orleans in july ending up in New York i visited Death & Co and among a range of great cocktails i also tried this one and i was not dissapointed – it was lovely.

I very much like tequila – it has a wonderful flavour and it mixes so nicely with fresh fruits and spices – my fav mixers.

FLOR DE JALISCO

2 oz tequila blanco

0.75 oz fresh lemon juice

0.5 oz agave syrup

1 tsp orange marmalade

Shake and strain into chilled coupe and garnish with an orange twist.

Back home i decided to have some fun and play with it and make it differently and so i added bitter seville orange marmalade instead, a reposado instead of blanco, lime instead of lemon, dried hibiscus flower rim and a dash rich cinnamon syrup. (2:1 demerara sugar, water and cinnamon stick)

Then i added a float of mezcal.

JALISCO SMOKE

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2 oz tequila reposado ( i used XQ reposado)

0.75 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz rich cinnamon syrup

1 small tsp bitter seville orange marmalade

Float mezcal (I used Del Maguey San Luis Del Rio)

Rim the glass with crushed dried hibiscus flowers, or rim half. Shake, strain and serve  with crushed ice and garnish with a spiraled lime.

It looks like a Margarita but isn´t. A spiraled lime you get by inserting a chopstick through the lime and then you just cut around it in a spiral manner from the top end to the bottom and then take out the stick. The only thing i would like to change is the hibiscus rim, i would like to make it into powder instead.

Its fun how you can play with flavors by switching one or more of the ingredients and get a totally different drink and that`s the whole point of this post apart from sharing my passion for mixing with mezcal.

In my first post on cocktails with mezcal it was the only base spirit but here it plays a different role and is used as a float together with tequila as the base– i think it has a nice effect. Its really fun to use mezcal because of its rich flavours and smokiness, and there´s so many things you can do – mix, float, rinse, rim, spray…and mixing with both tequila and mezcal is fun, wonderfully tasty as well as economical.

A TOAST TO TEQUILA

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One thing i`ve noticed about the US is that they have tons of days they celebrate, like today – its National Tequila Day. I ask myself why can`t that be an International Tequila Day? anyway, i don´t want to miss an occasion to raise a toast with one of my favorite spirits and therefore i decided to infuse some tequila with red habanero pepper and mix up a drink to toast.

The classic Margarita calls for tequila, orange liqueur and lime juice. Its a wonderful drink in all its simplicity and very thirst quenching. The fact that tequila mixes so well with fruity flavors is one reason why i like it so much, the other and most important is of course its flavour.

It also mixes well well with hot peppers and i love peppers so here we go, i took my favorite pepper which is the habanero, sliced off a little bit and infused a tequila blanco, just long enough (a few hours in this case) to give it a bit of a peppery bite without being too hot.

I made a similar drink when i was in the US for the New Orleans TDN called the MixoHouse Cocktail but with jalapeno infused tequila, seems i`m on a pepper infusion craze these days. Another of my addictions is as some of you know, Ting – the jamaican grapefruit beverage which traditionally is paired with JWray overproof rum. But Ting pairs well with much things and tequila is one of the best partners i know so don`t be surprised – here is T&T – Tequila and Ting and a toast to tequila.

T&T TOAST

2 oz red habanero infused tequila

0.5 oz fresh lime juice

0.5 oz agave syrup

Top with Ting

Rim a rocks glass with lime-sugar (raw sugar and grated lime zest) Add the ingredients except for Ting in a shaker and shake, strain and pour into the glass filled with large ice cubes, top with Ting. Garnish with a speared habanero.

Happy tequila day!

MARGARITA

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Green Cactus Margarita – Recipe here.

There is but one word for this lively libation – freshness!

A LITTLE MARGARITA BASICS

The roots of this cocktail can probably be traced all the way to Jalisco, Mezico – right to the blue agave plant. It appeared in the States around late 1940`s. It was published as the drink of the month in the dec 1953 issue of Esquire magazine:

“Drink of the Month”

“She`s from Mexico, Senores, and her name is the Margarita Cocktail – and she is lovely to look at, exciting and provocative”

“1 ounce tequila, dash of triple sec, juice of 1/2 lime or lemon”

“Pour over crushed ice, stir. Rub the rim of a stem glass with rind of lemon or lime., spin in salt, pour and sip”

There are even earlier publications which describes cocktails using these ingredients in various proportions also with other names and there are many stories in circulation as to who invented the Margarita.

A Margarita is really a Sidecar with tequila and lime instead of brandy and lemon. The basics of making a classic Margarita is simplicity and a true classis Margarita is just 3 ingredients – tequila, lime and orange liqueur. I tend to prefer the ratio 2:1:1 (tequila, cointreau, lime)

If you like it sweeter despite the sweetness from the orange liqueur, add some simple or agave syrup. The orange liqueur that i would recommend is Cointreau.The tequila type to use is the silver/blanco or reposado but not anejo. Finally i strongly recommend that you use fresh lime juice and simple syrup instead of a commercial sweet&sour mix.

The Margarita is one of those cocktails that has been severely bastardised (along with the Daiquiri and the Mai Tai) – often slushy, and made from commercial mixers. Luckily though is that the real Margarita isn`t all gone or forgotten. I`m not against variations as long as they doesn`t become vulgar. A nice variation is to use the more tart key lime juice and with them Grand Marnier which is sweeter than Cointreau.

When it comes to rimming the glass with kosher salt, its a good idea to rim half the glass if you don`t know if the person who is going to imbibe it likes a salted rim.

I`m going to make a Margarita variation that adds a splash of jamaica – hibiscus tisane which is made with dried hibiscus flowers that are boiled and steeped in water, then sweetened with sugar or syrup. It has a tart/sweet very refreshing and tropical flavor that i think goes very well with tequila and fruits like lime. And finished off with a float of smoke – mezcal.

SMOKY MARGARITA JAMAICA

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1.5  oz tequila
1  oz cointreau
1  oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz agave syrup
jamaica to top
0.5 oz mezcal
salt

Shake ingredients (except jamaica and mezcal) over ice, strain and pour into ice filled margarita glass rimmed with salt.
Top with a splash jamaica and float 0.5 oz good mezcal

Garnish a lime wedge.

HIBISCUS DRINK – JAMAICA

5 dl water to 2 handful of dried hibiscus flowers
9 cl agave syrup
Boil for 5 minutes
Cool for 2 hrs

JOSE CUERVO ESPECIAL SILVER

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This clear tequila is very smooth and bottled immediately following distillation and has a pleasant balanced aroma combining spicy black pepper and hints of agave. Its taste perfectly balances a mixture of sweetness and acidity, complemented by black pepper notes on the palate. Its a tequila to easily be friends with, it invites you to easily mix.

It has no burn and the taste is very clean with said blackpepper notes adding a subtle freshness, this is well suited for drinking neat in a cold shot and that`s how its promoted.

As the Cuervo silver doesn`t have any additive flavors from barrels or fruits its a very basic clean tequila flavor with that note of fresh blackpepper and agave thus lending itself well as a base spirit for mixed cocktails. Uncomplicated, clean tasting, it deserves a place on the shelf as an everyday tequila. Its a pity its not sold in my country, but maybe one day it will as the gold is sold here, so who knows?

In1758  José Antonio Montaño y Cuervo was given a property in tequila by the spanish king and about 40 years later Don Jose Guadalupe Cuervo  received permission to start producing tequila. Don Cuervo took his thousands of acres and created a plantation for cultivating maguey.

Cuervo is today the world’s leading Tequila producer, and the Cuervo descendants still operate the plantation and the distilleries.

GREEN CACTUS MARGARITA

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The original Margarita doesn`t contain any additional syrup as the orange liqueur is sweet but i have a bit of a sweet tooth and so i added 1/4 oz agave syrup. I have twisted it a bit and added a cactus juice to it. This juice is produced in Sweden so non Swedes can mix fresh green-applejuice, cactus-juice and fresh lime juice with sugar to get a similar juice.

When it comes to the salt rim a good idea is to rim half and leave the other so there´s a choice. I personally like the salt rim so here for this post i have used it as its me gonna drink it, i think the salt enchances the flavor in this drink.

Omitting the orange liqueur and use only agave syrup also makes a nice variety of the Margarita.

2  oz tequila – Cuervo Especial Silver
1  oz cointreau
1  oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz agave syrup
salt
Top with Heba cactus juice
Shake ingredients over ice, strain and pour into ice filled margarita glass rimmed in salt.

MARGARITA ORO

margarita-oro

1 oz tequila – Cuervo Especial Silver
1 oz tequila – Cuervo Gold
1  oz cointreau
1  oz fresh lime juice
¼ oz agave syrup
fine raw sugar

The procedure is the same as with the Margarita.

But i didn´t use salt this time, instead i used raw sugar which i think is tasty too.

CUERVO SILVER SHOT

cuervo-silver-shot

Very simple, very basic and very tasty due to the smoothness and the agave and pepper notes.

Serve ice cold in a shot glass.

BLUE AGAVE -BLUE DRINK..

Yes! I`m actually gonna make a blue drink here as well!

As some of you know my secrit “guilty pleasure” (MxMo – Two at the Most) is blue drinks..and green..I think the blue goes well with tequila so here is a blue drink which is very simple to make:

blue-moment

BLUE MOMENT

1.5 oz tequila – Cuervo Especial Silver
0.5 oz blue curacao
0.5 oz fresh lime juice
¼   oz agave syrup
Club Soda to top

Pour into a highball and wizzle with crushed ice and then place a cherry at the bottom.Top with soda.

Fill up with more crushed ice and garnish with lime.

INVITATION

Here is a more festive drink and this summer-like cocktail mixes tequila, lime, honey, Aperol, hibiscus Grenadine and fresh pink Grapefruit – which i find pairs well with the blackpepper notes.

invitation1

2 oz tequila – Cuervo Especial Silver
0.5 fresh lime
0.5 honeymix (1.1 honey and water)
1 oz fresh pink grapefruit juice
1 oz Aperol
Small splash hibiscus grenadine
A little Club soda to top

Shake all ingredients except Club Soda. Pour into a glass filled with cracked ice. Garnish with a speared rose and 4 thin lime wedges. It can of course be garnished much simpler, maybe just a lime slice, i just add all this crazy garnish because i think its fun.

Now when the spring is slowly arriving more and more fresh fruits will show up at the markets and soon we will be able here to buy that fresh, sturdy and incredibly fragrant mint from Morocco which makes the whole bus smell mint on my way home, oh i can`t wait.

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