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Mezcal on the Rise
By Ed Avis
Mezcal is no longer taking a backseat to tequila. Many Mexican restaurants are incorporating mezcal cocktails into their bar menus.
Authentic mezcal is handcrafted in Mexico’s Oaxacan provinces using the maguey plant, a form of agave. The maguey bud is roasted in a fire pit before it is distilled, providing the distinctive smoky flavor.
Many mezcals are designed for sipping, but others – particularly the unaged “silver” or “joven” varieties -- are ideal for cocktails.
“You can use the reposado and anejos in cocktails but have to be careful because the oak barrel aging can come through,” says Barbara Sweetman, international sales manager at Cabelleros, Inc., which makes Scorpion Mezcal. “The silver is perfect and not oversmoked.”
For more information about mezcal, click here to read Martin Cabrera’s column in the Winter issue of el Restaurante Mexicano. For information on becoming a master mezcalier, click here to read about mezcalier certification classes.
Here is a list of eleven fun mezcal recipes you can use at your bar, followed by a links to a number of quality mezcal producers.
A mai tai cocktail featuring Scorpion Silver Mezcal, rum, and almond syrup. more »
A cocktail featuring Wahaka Mezcal, passion fruit and ginger syrup, from Junior Merino, the Liquid Chef in New York City. more »
A cocktail made with El Buho mezcal, tequila, and bitters. more »
A classic martini with a mezcal twist. Made with Fidencio mezcal. more »
A tasty cocktail made with warm cider, El Buho mezcal, and Jaeger. more »
A cocktail featuring ginger liqueur and Fidencio mezcal. more »
A margarita featuring Ilegal Joven mezcal, muddled cilantro, and chile en adobo puree. more »
Mezcal cocktail featuring Ilegal Joven and jamaica syrup. more »
This is a perfect winter drink featuring Scorpion mezcal. more »
A bloody mary made with El Buho Mezcal. more »
This cocktal features mezcal and St. Germain liqueur. more »
Quality Mezcal Distillers
Do you have a mezcal cocktail recipe you would like to share? Please send it to Ed Avis, email@example.com. Ed Avis is the publisher of el Restaurante Mexicano.