Archives for category: Mezcal

Aaaand look at that. It’s 2016. Oops.

This is my favorite creation of the year so far. Simple, elegant, and not for the faint of heart. I give you taste of a boozy summer.

Mexican Martini

  • 3 oz Nuestra Soledad mezcal
  • .25 oz Dolin dry vermouth
  • Two dashes Bittercube Bolivar bitters

Stir with ice and strain. Garnish with a thin lime wheel dropped in the chilled cocktail glass. We’ve also played around with a sprig of elderberries or white / red currants for color – try this for a drink your guests will attempt to photograph endlessly before drinking.

Some days you come home, look at your significant other, and say, “Mezcal.”  You know you’re with the right person when mezcal does, in fact, suddenly appear shortly thereafter.

Mezcal Old Fashioned-ish


  • 3 oz mezcal (Fidencio Unico is just fine)
  • .5 oz Ancho Reyes liqueur
  • .25 oz Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao

Combine all into a mixing glass.  Stir with ice. Strain. Or more precisely, have someone else do this for you. Pour into a rocks glass and dispense with the garnish. That just cuts into drinking time.



We’ve been known to have large parties a few times a year.  The sound of dozens of liquor bottles hitting the recycling is our way of letting the neighbors know what they missed.  In other words, we go through a lot of booze when we entertain, and yep, it does get expensive.

We know that buying liquor for our house can be a bit intimidating, so if you’d like to bring a bottle next time you visit, here’s a quick guide to stuff we’ll always appreciate a bunch.  It’s also a pretty good cheat sheet for reliably good booze to bring anywhere.  Most of these should be too difficult to find locally.

Around $20:

In the $20-40 Range:

In the $40-60 Range:

Impractically Expensive Shit:

We’re grateful for anything you want to bring, of course!  If you want to be creative and pick up something not on this list, here are some types of liquor we generally avoid – they just don’t get used, and we don’t mix with them:

  • Vodka
  • Flavored vodka
  • Flavored anything, really
  • Canadian whiskey
  • Irish whiskey

Now back to your regularly scheduled booze news.


Enough with the bourbon!  It’s sunny.  Time to switch it up… to MEZCAL!

No Habla

1 oz mezcal
.75 oz tawny port
.25 oz pimento / allspice dram

Stir it all in your new Yarai seamless mixing glass with your fancy new weighted bar spoon.  Feel like a pretty, pretty princess.  Strain into the most precious little cocktail glass you have.  Oh, look at that little thing!  It’s so cute!  Better put an orange twist garnish on it and give it a couple of brandied cherries.  Whooza cute lil cocktail?  Whooza special little drink?  That’s YOU, No Habla!  YOU!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you make something with mezcal feel like a girly drink.




I go through new favorite cocktails quicker than Charlie Sheen goes through enough rock to decorate a small aquarium.  But the Martinez.  Oh, how I always come back to the Martinez.  Ransom Old Tom, Carpano sweet vermouth, Regan’s orange bitters, and a dash of maraschino…  oh yes.  That’s my favorite liquor pron.

Once a year or so, we buy tickets to the Mariners’ Diamond Club.  It’s an ultra-swank adventure that involves paying an appalling amount of money up front to dine hours before the game in a private club, sit right behind home plate, have everything you could possibly want brought to your seat, and attempt to eat and drink the cost of the ticket.  (Good luck.)  Last year, Edgar Martinez was hanging out in the club, hawking his new mezcal, El Zacatecano.  FREE SAMPLES!  Aw yeah.

So I don’t know what the hell to do with mezcal.  I picked up a bottle of El Zacatecano Jovan (the cheapest stuff) to play with.  I am no Andrew Bohrer.  It’s been sitting up in the cabinet, enviously watching the tequila go out on the occasional date, refusing to stop smoking, and beating the crap out of the French liqueurs for the lulz.

We went to Tilth last week for our friend’s birthday.  They’re known well locally for creative, high-quality organic cuisine.  In other words, I was thinking yeah.  It’s a wine night.  But surprise!  Their cocktail menu was interesting.  And lo and behold, the Edgar Martinez.  A Martinez with Edgar’s mezcal!  Brilliance!  Even more brilliance after you’ve had a couple!

I can’t say I’ve really figured out what they did.  Their drink was a bit lighter than this one.  I’m pretty sure they didn’t use Carpano, and they probably used the aged mezcal rather than the Jovan I have.  But screw it.  I love Carpano.  Adjust this one to your liking; it’s as close as I’m getting for now.

The Edgar Martinez

2oz El Zacatecano Jovan mezcal
1 oz Carpano sweet vermouth
two dashes Regan’s orange bitters
two dashes maraschino liqueur

Combine everything in a shaker with ice and stir.  Strain into a coupe.  Flame an orange peel over the top of it.  Pretend the Mariners don’t still suck this year.  Convince yourself again that it will get better next year.  Start thinking about how much it will cost for your share of the season tickets again later this year.  Make two or three more drinks.

Video this time (click eet!), because we got hold of a good orange to flame.  (I know.  I should be using a proper lighter.  Sue me.)  If you don’t know how to do this, learn.  It’s easy.  It’s fire.  People will go OOOOH.  What’s not to like?

  • Cut a circular wedge of orange peel from a firm, thick-skinned orange.  (Sounds dirty.)
  • Heat the circle by exposing the orange-colored side to the blue part of the flame.
  • Grasp the circle by the edges with your thumb and forefingers, orange-colored side out.
  • Light the flame in front of it, over the drink, and squeeze.
  • Call the fire department if you were keeping your overproof rum too close.

Oh yeah.  Do this at your own risk.  Or don’t.  Because it would make an awesome segment on 1,000 Ways to Die.

Birthday joy:  getting taken out to Needle and Thread for my birthday.  Double birthday joy:  having Brian make a fuss and create something even more special than usual.  With $20-a-shot mezcal.

We’d gone out a few days ago to Tilth for another friend’s birthday.  Their cocktail menu featured something called an Edgar Martinez – basically, a Martinez made with mezcal instead of gin.  It warmed my Martinez-filled little heart, and I’m still working out the proportions for how to re-create it.  (Stand by.)  So I asked Brian what proportions he’d use.  That somehow ended in me getting an original concoction that proved both his mixology skills and the point of paying for good booze.

Brian mentioned something called a Oaxacan Old Fashioned, which sounded interesting, so I looked it up.  Hmm.  Just mezcal, reposado tequila, agave nectar, and Angostura bitters.  Sounds kind of like sweet tequila, to me.  But whatever.  I gave it a shot today.  And yes.  It was sweet tequila.  Bleah.

This is what I did to avoid throwing away good liquor.

The French Oaxacan

1.5 oz reposado tequila (I used Cazadores)
.5 oz mezcal (I used El Zacatecano, Edgar Martinez’s brand, cuz I’m cheap)
.5 oz Dolin blanc
.25 oz agave nectar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
one dash mole bitters
10 drops Bitters Old Men “Smoke Gets in Your Bitters”

Put everything but the smoke bitters in a shaker with ice and stir.  Strain into a cocktail glass.  Float a thin orange wheel on the top and drizzle the smoke bitters.  Think about how lucky you are that this didn’t end up tasting like brown crayons.

The smoke from the mezcal is still there, but I think next time I’d do 1:1 reposado to mezcal.  (The smoke bitters were an effort to ratchet it up; you could probably leave them out if you went even bigger with the mezcal.)  The Angostura gives it a bit of spice, and the Dolin blanc makes for a kind of sweet, floral finish, which oddly works.  The mole bitters carry the middle with a bit of creamy chocolate.  Or all this could be bullshit.  What do I know?  I wouldn’t throw it out of bed for eating crackers.

By the way, the Smoke Gets in Your Bitters is something new I found.  It’s mostly Lapsang Souchong tea.  Drizzling a few drops of this, brewed very strong, would probably work, too.

I’m still working on that Edgar Martinez, and I’ve also been fooling around with an Earl Grey tea-infused gin, courtesy of the wonderful Gregg at Knee High Stocking Company.  More when I recover from all this tequila.