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Cocktail recipes

In the March 2015 issue, Lori Moffatt writes about the spirit mezcal, a cousin to tequila that often contributes a smoky flavor to cocktails. She tested these recipes using Wahaka’s Joven Espadin, which imbues a hint of smoke and is available in Texas at Twin Liquors and Spec’s for around $30 per bottle. Each recipe makes one drink.

Mezcal Margarita

Try mezcal instead of tequila in a classic margarita. To make simple syrup, dissolve 1cup sugar in one cup hot water, then chill; keeps in fridge one week.

In a shaker glass packed with ice, combine 1.5 ounces each mezcal, lime juice, and orange liqueur (preferably Paula’s Texas Orange), plus 1 oz. simple syrup (or omit if you like your drink tart). Shake like mad, then strain into a coupe rimmed with salt. Option: add a slice of jalapeño in the shaker glass.

Oaxaca Mule

This is a smoky take on the Moscow Mule, which typically uses vodka.

In a rocks glass packed with ice, combine 1.5 oz mezcal with 3 oz. ginger beer (try Maine Root brand for a bracing kick). Stir and add a squeeze of lime.

Sangre y Arena

This is a take on a classic Scotch cocktail called the Blood and Sand.

In a shaker glass packed with ice, combine .75 oz. mezcal, .75 cherry liqueur, .75 oz. sweet vermouth, .75 oz. orange juice, and 2 dashes angostura bitters. Shake like mad, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.

Vinegaroon

This is adaptation of a drink invented by the bartenders at Austin’s Contigo. At Contigo, the bartenders use pineapple shrub, which is a mixture of pineapple, apple-cider vinegar, and sugar, steeped for several days then strained.

In a shaker glass packed with ice, combine 1.5 oz. mezcal, .75 oz. pineapple juice, .75 oz. lemon juice, and 1 tsp. of Herbsaint (or absinthe). Shake like mad, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a fresh sage leaf for aroma.

Campechano

This is an adaptation of a drink occasionally served at Whisler’s in Austin. Ancho Reyes is a sweet-and-spicy liqueur made from ancho chiles.

In a shaker glass packed with ice, combine 1.5 oz. mezcal, .5 oz Ancho Reyes liqueur, .5 oz. lime juice, .5 oz pineapple juice, and .5 oz. simple syrup. Shake like mad, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of pineapple.

Stinkin’ Badges

This is an adaptation of a drink served at the bar of Austin’s Violet Crown Cinema. Campari is a bitter, bright red Italian liqueur; Cynar is a liqueur made from artichokes that adds sweet and herbal notes.

In a shaker glass packed with ice, combine 1.25 oz mezcal,.5 oz Campari, .75 oz. Cynar, .5 oz lemon juice, and .5 oz. orange juice. Shake like mad, then strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with an orange slice.

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