Mezcal Paloma

Serves 1.

Note: If you have another simple syrup on hand, you can use it to replace the jalepeño-black pepper variety. From Amelia Rayno.

• 1 tsp. medium-coarse salt

• 1 tsp. ground chili powder (chipotle varieties work well)

• Slice of fresh grapefruit

• 2 oz. (4 tbsp.) mezcal

• 2 oz. (4 tbsp.) fresh grapefruit juice

• Juice of 1 lime (about 1 oz. or 2 tbsp.)

• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) jalapeño-black pepper simple syrup (see recipe )

• Ice

• Grapefruit peel, for garnish

Directions

Pour the salt and chili powder on a plate and combine well. Brush the grapefruit slice around the rim of a short glass to moisten it, then press the glass upside-down into the chili-salt mixture to create a rim.

In a shaker, combine the mezcal, grapefruit juice, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well, then pour into the glass, over a couple of large ice cubes. Garnish with the grapefruit peel.

 

Jalapeño-Black Pepper Simple Syrup

Makes about 1 1/2 c.

Note: You will use 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) of this per serving of the Mezcal Paloma cocktail. Keep refrigerated. From Amelia Rayno.

• 1 c. water

• 1 c. sugar

• 3 jalapeños, sliced lengthwise

• 10 black peppercorns

Directions

In a small pot, heat the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the jalapeños and black peppercorns and bring to a boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When room temperature, strain the mixture into a jar and keep for later use.

 

Cucumber, Salt and Smoke

Serves 1.

Note: Simple syrup is made by heating equal parts sugar and water until the sugar is dissolved. If you prefer not to use raw egg whites in cocktails, aquafaba — the liquid found in a can of chickpeas — can be substituted to give the same frothy texture and mouthfeel. From Food & Wine magazine.

• 1 (1-in.) cucumber slice, chopped

• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) pisco

• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) mezcal

• Juice of 1 lemon (about 1 oz. or 2 tbsp.)

• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) simple syrup (see Note)

• 1 egg white (see Note)

• Pinch of salt

• Ice

• 3 drops of Peychaud’s or Angostura bitters, for garnish

Directions

In a shaker, muddle the cucumber. Add the pisco, mezcal, lemon juice, simple syrup, egg white and salt, and shake well. Add ice and shake again. Finely strain into a chilled glass. Dot the drink with the bitters and swirl decoratively with a toothpick.

Esplanade Mezcal Swizzle

Serves 1.

Note: From Imbibe magazine.

• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) mezcal

• 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) amontillado sherry

• 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 tbsp.) fresh lime juice

• 1/2 oz. (1 tbsp.) falernum (a spicy liqueur)

• 1/2 oz. Ginger Simple Syrup (see recipe)

• Crushed ice

• Mint sprig, for garnish

• Lime wheel, for garnish

Directions

Combine the mezcal, sherry, lime juice, falernum and simple syrup in a glass. Fill the glass to the brim with crushed ice. Garnish with the mint and lime wheel.

Ginger Simple Syrup

Makes about 1 1/2 c.

Note: You will need 1 oz. (2 tbsp.) of this per serving of the Esplanade Mezcal Swizzle. Keep refrigerated.

• 1 c. water

• 1 c. sugar

• 1 large piece of ginger, peeled and cut into slices.

Directions

In a small pot, heat the water and sugar together until the sugar is dissolved. Add the ginger and boil for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. When room temperature, strain the mixture into a jar and keep for later use.

Spicy Dead Lady

Serves 1.

Note: If you don’t have the bitters on hand, use a muddled fresh hot pepper instead, then be sure to strain the drink well. From Imbibe magazine.

• 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 tbsp.) mezcal

• 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 tbsp.) Aperol or another orange bitter

• 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 tbsp.) falernum

• 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 tbsp.) fresh lime juice

• 1 dash spicy bitters (see Note)

• Ice

• Lime wheel, for garnish

Directions

In a shaker, combine the mezcal, orange bitter, falernum, lime juice, bitters or muddled pepper and ice. Shake well. Strain into a glass and garnish with the lime wheel.

 

Devil’s Garden

Serves 1.

Note: If you don’t have time to make the chipotle mezcal ahead of time, muddle a hot pepper in the shaker before combining the other ingredients. Simple syrup can be substituted for the agave nectar in a pinch. From Saveur magazine.

• 1/2 oz. (1 tbsp.) chipotle-infused mezcal (see recipe)

• 1 1/2 oz. (3 tbsp.) tequila

• 1/2 oz. (1 tbsp.) Cynar

• 4 to 6 fresh mint leaves, plus a sprig for garnish

• 3/4 oz. lime juice (1 1/2 tbsp.)

• 3/4 oz. (1 1/2 tbsp.) agave nectar

• Ice

Directions

In a shaker, combine the mezcal, tequila, Cynar, mint, lime juice, agave and ice. Shake well. Strain into a wine glass or coupe and garnish with the sprig of mint.

Chipotle-Infused Mezcal

Makes 1 c.

Note: You will use 1/2 oz. (1 tbsp.) of this for each serving of the Devil’s Garden cocktail. From Saveur magazine.

• 1 dried chipotle pepper

• 1 c. mezcal

Directions

Toast the dried chile in a pan over high heat until it begins to smoke slightly, then remove from heat. Place the pepper in a jar, add mezcal and tightly cover. Allow to sit overnight. Remove the pepper before use.