It feels like it's been raining a lot. But there have been some sunny days as well. I don't know if it has anything to do with the transition between seasons or not but I've been feeling in the mood for tequila and mezcal drinks lately. I recently picked up a book by Tomas Estes called The Tequila Ambassador. So far it's fantastic. Interviews with a variety of notable people in the tequila industry as well as information on the production of tequila and the various stages involved. The book is packed with great photographs as well. I haven't read the whole thing. I've been kind of skipping around. One section I've spent a lot of time with is the chapter which includes a variety of recipes. The first six drinks below were culled from that portion of the book. There are many more I'm looking forward to trying.

Anejo Special left, El Cadaver right

Anejo Special left, El Cadaver right

Anejo Special - Anejo Tequila, Lime Juice, Agave Nectar, Absinthe Bitters, Egg White, Peychaud's Bitters
El Cadaver - Tequila, Cointreau, Lillet, Lemon Juice, Absinthe

The Anejo Special leads with citrus and the absinthe bitters. The absinthe bitters include Green Chartreuse and that rich herbal sweetness ties in nicely with the agave nectar. All this on a delicious foundation of Anejo Tequila. The El Cadaver is pretty much everything you love about a Corpse Reviver #2 (assuming you do in fact enjoy that drink) but with tequila standing in for the gin.

Mexican Monk left, Mi Amaro right

Mexican Monk left, Mi Amaro right

Mexican Monk - Anejo Tequila, Amontillado Sherry, Benedictine, Coffee Liqueur, Lemon Twist
Mi Amaro - Reposado Tequila, Sweet Vermouth, Amaro CioCiaro, St. Germain, Grapefruit Twist

The Mexican Monk starts off with an aroma of lemon and sherry. The sherry is there on the sip as well along with the Benedictine. I subbed Allen's for the coffee liqueur and it does a surprisingly nice job underscoring the sherry/Benedictine combination while adding depth and coffee flavor. You have to search a bit for the tequila but it lingers on the finish nicely. Mi Amaro leads with an aroma of grapefruit from the twist and grapes from the vermouth. This transitions to flavors that are rich, slightly dark, orange and bitter. The St. Germain does not command attention the way it often does. Instead it lingers in the background contributing a subtle floral quality while bolstering the citrus and herbs of the vermouth and Picon (which I subbed for the CioCiaro). Grapefruit continues on the finish.

Holiday Extra Old Fashioned left, Nube Ocho right

Holiday Extra Old Fashioned left, Nube Ocho right

Holiday Extra Old Fashioned - Anejo Tequila, Maple Syrup, Allspice Dram, Nutmeg, Orange Peel
Nube Ocho - Anejo Tequila, Grapefruit Juice, Lime Juice, Honey, Dandelion and Burdock Bitters, Orange Flower Water

The Holiday Extra Old Fashioned has allspice and nutmeg on the nose. Initial flavors are rich with agave and maple. An amazingly pleasant drink to sip as the seasons change. I'll be making this one again soon. The Nube Ocho was silky smooth and slightly sweet with honey, though the citrus did a good job of keeping the sweetness in check. The bitters here add depth and a bit of licorice flavor.

Agave Maria left, Improved Tequila Cocktail right

Agave Maria left, Improved Tequila Cocktail right

Agave Maria - Mezcal, Pineapple Juice, Lime Juice, Fernet, Agave Nectar, Peychaud's Bitters, Orange Twist Improved Tequila Cocktail - Reposado Tequila, Maraschino Liqueur, Agave Nectar, Xocolatl and Angostura Bitters

The Agave Maria was not as sweet as I thought it'd be. Which was nice. Pineapple and lime upfront with Mezcal following close behind. Fernet and agave ground things and add a welcome degree of darkness. The Improved Tequila Cocktail is a nice twist on a classic which I often make with genever. Same silky smooth mouthfeel but with tequila up front and the Xocolatl adding some spice and chocolate flavor.

1910 left, Rojo Bianco right

1910 left, Rojo Bianco right

1910 - Punt e Mes, Mezcal, Tequila, Maraschino Liqueur, Peychaud's Bitters, Orange Oil
Rojo Bianco - Reposado Tequila, Blanc Vermouth, Campari, Maraschino Liqueur, Angostura Bitters

The 1910 is a favorite around the house. Leads with the Punt e Mes which contributes grape flavor along with rich, dark and bitter qualities. Maraschino brings its slight funk to the mix while the mezcal adds smoke. Tequila is the unmistakable backbone of the Rojo Bianco. The blanc vermouth softens and sweetens. There's an interesting and pleasant slightly nutty quality which I think stems from the maraschino. Campari is there offering a little bitterness.

Between Seasons

Between Seasons

Between Seasons - Mezcal, Punt e Mes, Yellow Chartreuse, Campari, Orange Twist

I came up with this one when looking to use mezcal alongside Punt e Mes and Chartreuse. I used Illegal's Mezcal Joven here and it's right up front from the very beginning. The Punt e Mes stretches things out while adding some bitterness that gets picked up by the Campari. Yellow Chartreuse counters the bitter qualities with its soft, herbal sweetness.

Tequila Hot Toddy

Tequila Hot Toddy

Tequila Hot Toddy - Reposado Tequila, Lemon Juice, Agave Nectar, Xocolatl Mole Bitters, Lemon Twist, Cinnamon Stick

The nights are starting to get chilly. Since tequila has been the theme recently I figured I'd employ it in a toddy. Normally I opt for whiskey or rum for this type of drink but tequila made for a nice twist. I'm sure others have had a similar approach. Lemon, agave nectar, tequila, bitters and hot water makes for a pretty comforting beverage.

Recipes:

Anejo Special - Dushan Zaric and staff at Employees Only, NYC
1 3/4 oz El Tesoro or Don Felipe Anejo Tequila
1 oz Lime Juice
3/4 oz Agave Nectar
1/4 oz EO Absinthe Bitters*
1 Egg White
Garnish - 3 drops Peychaud's Bitters

Dry shake, shake, fine strain, up

*Absinthe Bitters - this is a scaled down version of the original recipe from the Employees Only book 'Speakeasy' where it accompanied their incredible version of the Martinez.

3 oz Pernod '68 Absinthe
1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
1/4 Tbsp (3/4 tsp) Fee's Mint Bitters
1/8 tsp Peychaud's Bitters 
1/8 tsp Angostura Bitters

 

El Cadaver - Josh Durr, Hawthorn Beverage Labs & Molecular Bartending, Louisville, KY
1 1/2 oz Blanco Tequila
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Lemon Juice
1-2 drops Absinthe

Shake, fine strain, up

 

Mexican Monk - Eric Alperin, The Varnish, Los Angeles
2 oz Ocho Anejo Tequila
1/4 oz Amontillado Sherry
1/4 oz Benedictine
1/4 oz Cafe Lolita Coffee Liqueur
Garnish - Lemon Twist

Stir, strain, up

 

Mi Amaro - Joaquin Simo, Death & Co., NYC
2 oz El Tesoro Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Carpano Antica
1/2 oz Amaro CioCiaro
1/4 oz St. Germain
Garnish - Grapefruit Twist

Stir, Strain, Up

 

Holiday Extra Old Fashioned - Willy Shine, Will Shine Inc, NYC
2 oz Ocho Anejo Tequila
1/2 oz Maple Syrup
1 barspoon Allspice Dram
Garnish - Orange Peel and Grated Nutmeg

Build in glass over large cubes and stir.

 

Nube Ocho - Eric Nyeste, Moss Room, San Francisco
1 1/2 oz Ocho Anejo Tequila
3/4 oz Grapefruit Juice
1/2 oz Honey Syrup
1/2 oz Lime Juice
3 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters
Garnish - 1 drop Orange Flower Water

Shake, fine strain, up

 

Agave Maria - Independent, Somerville, MA
1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Vida Mezcal
1 1/2 oz Pineapple Juice
3/4 oz Lime Juice
1/8 oz Fernet
1 dash Agave Nectar
3 dashes Peychaud's
Garnish - Orange Twist

Shake and pour unstrained into rocks glass.

 

Improved Tequila Cocktail - Bobby Heugel, Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston
2 oz Reposado Tequila
1 tsp Maraschino Liqueur
1 tsp Agave Nectar
2 dashes Xocolatl Mole Bitters
1 dash Angostura Garnish - Lemon Twist

Stir, strain, up

 

1910 - Ezra Star, Drink, Boston
1 oz Punt e Mes
3/4 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz El Tesoro Platinum Tequila
1/2 oz Maraschino
2 dashes Peychaud's
Garnish - Orange Twist, express over drink and discard

Stir, strain, rocks glass (oops)

 

Rojo Bianco - Phil Ward, Death & Co, NYC
2 oz Reposado Tequila
3/4 oz Blanc Vermouth
1/4 oz Maraschino Liqueur
1/4 oz Campari
1 dash Angostura

Stir, strain, up

 

Between Seasons
1 1/2 Illegal Mezcal Joven
3/4 oz Punt e Mes
1/2 oz Yellow Chartreuse
1/4 oz Campari Garnish - Orange Twist

Stir with ice and strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass

 

Tequila Hot Toddy
2 oz Reposado Tequila
1/2 oz Agave Nectar
1/4 oz Lemon Juice
1 dash Xocolatl Mole Bitters
2-3 oz Hot Water
Garnish - Lemon Peel and Cinnamon Stick

Build in a preheated mug.

Posted
AuthorTrey
TagsBrandy