While the headline is Mezcal Summer Cocktails, in truth, I have never met a cocktail that I loved in the summer, that I did not love in the winter (or the fall or spring). If it is good, it is good, and I am happy to drink it year-round. So here are two recent favorites that I have been introduced to that are likely to blow your socks off!
Larkspur Mezcal Margarita
This recipe, as the name suggests, comes from the Larkspur restaurant in Vail, CO. They were making this (and continue to offer tequila or mezcal) with tequila, and I suggested to them that making this with a mezcal would probably be sublime. So they did, and it is! But credit to them for the very original cocktail recipe, and besides, I pretty much think any cocktail tastes better with mezcal! Here it is:
- .5 oz jalapeno simple syrup
- .5 oz thinned agave nectar (see below)
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 2 oz mezcal joven
- 3 cucumber slices
- 3 sprigs cilantro (2-3 inch stalks)
- 3 dashes Peychaud bitters
The only thing a bit time consuming is the making of jalapeno simple syrup. To do this, just make simple syrup (equal parts water and sugar; for example 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar brought nearly to a boil to dissolve the sugar). Then cut up 1 large jalapeno and plop it in. Let sit for 1-2 days (tasting regularly) and then strain out the jalapeno and seeds. You should taste it regularly during the infusing process to monitor the heat – you want it spicy but not overpowering. Keep it in the fridge and it is good for months.
I also mention “thinned agave nectar” above. The guys at Larkspur mix equal parts agave nectar and water (just heat it a bit in a microwave to homogenize the mixture) so that the bartenders can pour the agave more readily – makes sense!
With that, muddle the cilantro, cucumber, lime, agave, and simple syrup. Add in the mezcal and bitters, shake and serve on the rocks. Salt on the rim or not. You will find the result to be magical…
The Minty Mezcal
This recipe was suggested to me by Steve Myers of Ilegal Mezcal. At a glance, it is not wildly different than the recipe above, but the you will find it to be very different in taste (and equally fantastic). Here it is:
- 1.5 oz Ilegal Joven Mezcal
- .5 oz fresh lime
- 1.0 oz thinned agave nectar (same recipe as above)
- 4 cucumber slices
- Strip leaves off 3 mint sprigs (3-4 inches long)
Muddle the lime, mint leaves, cucumber, and agave. Add the mezcal and serve over ice. Salt on the rim or not. Simple, easy, and summer fresh!
That’s all for now. Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to drink mezcal!