Posts Tagged ‘mezcal’

1+1+1=Mezcal Negroni

December 6, 2012



If you like your cocktails on the bitter side AND stupid easy to make, you’re going to love this one. We’ve taken the classic Negroni recipe (1 part Gin, 1 part Campari, 1 part Sweet Vermouth) thrown out the Gin and replaced it with Del Maguey Vida Mezcal. It really awakens the recipe. The only other change was a small squeeze of lime juice. The mezcal brings a smokey change that’s really nice in the drink and unlike tequila doesn’t get overpowered by the Campari. Give it a shot!


Welcome to beantown

November 5, 2012




A few weeks ago business brought me to Boston and the surrounding area. It was quick, in’n’out, but I managed to get a lil pseudo-Mexican cooking in at JM Curley. I was in the mood for something a little eccentric paired with a really good cocktail. Needless to say, I received 7-7-7’s.

Now I’d never been to Beantown before. So a visit to Fenway was a must. At the time the stadium was closed down while the remainder of the playoffs were still happening. The Tigers were putting the finishing touches on the Yankees and ending my postseason excitement. I took a stroll around the stadium walking past the locked up gates while the wind whipped down the streets. Many of the areas bars were open with the warm glow spilling out onto the streets. I wasn’t hungry yet so a few pints  warmed the soul.

I decided to hit the nearby (few miles) JM Curley. The reviews online looked very promising and the menu itself was filled with eclectic items and a killer cocktail menu. This was going to be right up my alley. I started with a Manhattan and ordered a few small plates instead of a dinner. The steak frites were calling my name but a menu filled with delectable goodies such as salmon sliders, baby octopus and beef cheek gorditas, I was quickly led astray. From the pictures you cna guess I ended up with the Baby Octopus and Beef Cheek Gordita’s. They were the right perscription to cure my ails.

The baby octopus was flash fried and braised to be both tender and crispy. I believe it was dusted with onion, red pepper and celery powder and topped with a lemon crema. It was fantastic, I’d highly recommend trying it out especially if you had someone to share it with. Although it was a starter/tapas style place. There was a lot of octopus on there, almost too much.



My last dish was the Beef Cheek gorditas. If the octopus was excellent, the gorditas were the cats ass. The cheek was braised in a slightly sweet, slightly savory sauce very similar to a dark beer style bbq sauce. Topped with thinly slice tomatillo and a spicy Mexican crema made from sweet potatoes. Each one also had a few toasted squash or pumpkin seeds that really melded the whole dish together. It was perfect for a cold autumn day.

I had a glass of Fidencio Classico Joven Mezcal for dessert. While not a dessert drink, I had never had this brand of mezcal before. The good things I’ve read and heard about it rang true. For $30 or so per 750ml bottle, it’s a great entry into the smokey realm of quality mezcals. I could definitely see picking a bottle up for sipping and mixing.

The verdict? Check out JM Curley, the place had a steady crowd of young professionals sipping craft cocktails and eating a wide range of eclectic quality eats. I know I’ll be back.

JM Curley

21 Temple Place
Boston, MA 02111


The Crimson Ghost

February 25, 2012


No this isn’t the logo to the misfits or the 1940’s movie which inspired it but you should be jamming out to the ‘fits while drinking this. Over Christmas my wife and I went to Holeman and Finch, the serious craft cocktail bar and amazing eatery. One of their featured cocktails was the Crimson Ghost made with mezcal, vermouth, aperol and orange bitters. I couldn’t resist and ordered one. It was everything I wanted and more. Silky, smokey, sublime and any other descriptive word that begins with “S.” The next day I wanted another so I raided our liquor cabinet and started concocting.

Luckily I knew the ingredients, now it was just about proportions. I’ll cut to the chase but the first one was pretty spot on, by the third batch it was about perfect. The recipe is below, now you have an excuse to buy that mezcal you’ve been wanting.

1.5oz Sombra Mezcal
.75oz Dolin Vermouth
.75oz Aperol
2 dashes of orange bitters

Pour all the ingredients into a shaker add ice and pour into a martini glass. Don’t be lazy like me and add a twist of orange to garnish. Salud!

The Dilemma…

October 10, 2011

I call this drink the Dilemma, you see fall is here and my favorite cocktail is decidedly a summer drink. Now take that lovely summer drink and heat it up with some smokey mezcal and we can talk. So yes, this is basically a Paloma using mezcal instead of tequila. It’s also a dilemma because I tossed some of my beloved Los Danzantes Reposado Mezcal in it. Which is so damn tasty and so damn hard to find.

Now the drink instantly takes on the mezcal’s smokiness and a bit of salt. At first sip, it’s on the weird side. When using tequila, the combo works so well together and it’s easy to fall in love with, but with mezcal it’s like having the same cocktail in some weird dream where your sitting in class mixing a cocktail, in your underwear, you know the dream right? After it sits for a few minutes and the ice melts a touch you get a wonderful blend that’ll keep you drinking this into November. My next experiment would be to try this with an un-aged mezcal, but unfortunately I don’t have any. Mezcal brands…hello?

2.5 oz. Mezcal
6 oz. Squirt, Mexican Market
1/2 Lime, juiced

over Ice with a twist or slice of lime.

Ohhh Mezcal, where art thou worm?

September 16, 2011

“Mezcal, meet John”

“John, meet Mezcal”

“Hi Mezcal, you could be the greatest thing on the face of the earth or a vile torridness that haunts me forever”

So, Mezcal. I don’t know if you’ve heard about mezcal but it’s got quite the reputation. In fact, a lot of tequila’s bad rap comes from mezcal. That worm? That was started by the producers of mezcal as a marketing gimmick to get college kids and party animals (yours truly) to buy it. Now I’ve never had the worm, never cared to and don’t plan on it. Thankfully this juice we have right here is devoid of all things insect.

Now, all tequila is mezcal but not all mezcal is tequila. Confusing? Mezcal can be made anywhere in Mexico and with almost any agave plant. Tequila on the other hand needs to be made in the region of tequila and only with Blue Weber Agave’s while Mezcal is typically made in Oaxaca. Another difference between it’s tequila brethren is the agave’s used in mezcal production are cooked in fire pits underground as opposed to clay or stone ovens. Neat huh? So this underground fire pit creates smoke, and smoke is one of the overwhelming flavors of mezcal. Lot’s of tequila drinkers have been completely turned off of mezcal because of it’s smokiness. It’s characteristic smokiness often draws parallels to Islay scotches known for their peaty, smokey goodness. It’s a good thing I enjoy a glass of Lagavulin every now and again.

This bottle is a reposado, so it’s an aged mezcal not a Joven (unaged) which translates to, Young. The mezcal lexicon is slightly different from tequila’s but there are plenty of crossovers. The brand is Los Danzantes, and like most mezcals, can be pretty hard to find, at least east of California. Anyway, I picked this bottle up for just under $40 bucks from Holiday Package on Buford Hwy in Chamblee, Ga. I’ve only seen this brand at 2 other stores around Atlanta and they were both kissing the $70 mark. That’s the other problem with mezcal, the price. See most mezcal’s aren’t mass-produced like tequila’s. Most are made single-village style and thus each have their own distinct flavor profile. You’ll see brands market by the name of the village. Del Maguey is perhaps the most famous mezcal, and known for this technique, but we’re drinking Los Danzantes, which is made with the Espadin Agave.

Now this bottle is neat, it’s got a ceramic stopper on top of a neat medicinal style bottle covered in inverted dimples. It’s label is small and minimalist without being overly modern. My bottle is Lot no. 001 and bottle 1308. I don’t know they do their bottling but this seems pretty early in the production run. Those other bottles on the shelf were all lot 001 as well, just saying.

Immediately opening the bottle I got lots of smoke and agave. It promptly brought my senses back to a backyard barbaque with wafts of smoke and something swine being slow cooked at a low temperature. After letting it breath some sweetness started to come out, dark honey and caramelized agave maybe? On the pallet I was greeted with a crisp bite quickly followed by a creaminess laced with smoke that was among the most interesting alcoholic tastings I’ve ever had outside of my first foray into Islay scotches. My worries are over. I was thinking the 42% alcohol would be too much as would the infamous smoke.

Needless to say, I’m hooked. If more bottles of mezcal were available in the southeast I’d try them but from here on out it looks to be mail order or barstock only. If I had more, I’d love to try some cocktails with this. The smoke would add a depth to some Paloma’s the world has never seen. Now the Holiday Package had 2 bottles left when I grabbed this, if you buy the remaining stock before I get my hands on that other bottle…you die…it’s that good. 4.5 outta 5

The Tequila Whisperer

September 14, 2011

Would you take tequila recommendations for that guy? I sure as hell do. In fact, he’s guided my pallet to some stellar juice. I’ve been watching Lippy the Tequila Whisperer for about a year now and realized outside of mentioning him a few times throughout some tequila reviews here, I haven’t really given him his due. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about all things agave and has some of the most entertaining reviews, well ever. Each show is a great mix of music, pop culture, tequila, and chat that goes every direction you can imagine. His site is filled with archives that let you look at older shows but the real gold is in the live shows where you can log in and chat along with the Lip while he tastes this weeks victims. He answers all the fan questions and it allows the show to flow into new and exciting places. On top of all that he’s answered and guided a ton of my questions on purchases, tequila history, NOMs, etc. He really wants you to know and enjoy tequila as much as he does. Check it out, you wont be sorry. Live shows are Thursdays at 7pm pacific. See you in the chat.


September 7, 2011

If your into mezcal, this might be of some interest to you. While I’ve only recently tried my hand at drinking mezcal (which I love buy the way), my bottle is devoid of any worms, scorpions, or other marketing jive. The article is about a year old but the info is still valid

Photo credit: iStockphoto/Tryfonov Ievgenii