january 2, 2016
Have you noticed the full page of craft cocktails at your favorite restaurants? No longer content to offer the usual manhattans and martinis, bartenders are upping the game with seasonal ingredients and herbs and homemade bitters, tempting with signature drinks to start your dinner with flair.
When you entertain at home, be that bartender who swings with the seasons and offers a colorful beverage before dinner with savory nibbles. Tis the season for citrus, and Meyer lemons, a cross between lemons and mandarin oranges, are plump and flavorful at the markets. Think Tangerine Rosemary Cocktail for a citrus herb pairing and Spicy Grapefruit Mint Cocktail for a touch of heat. When I order out, my preference is something smoky, something salty or bitter; adding a bit of heat will seal the deal. Mezcal, made from fire roasted agave cactus, gives me the smoke I crave, and any kind of citrus will complement mezcal or tequila. I love the tongue-tingling bite of hot pepper and tend to home in on any cocktail with pepper essence. You can omit the spicy heat source if you like, but if your fridge contains any pickled hot peppers, use the juice for a punch of sizzle.
Pomegranate juice will keep in your refrigerator for months. Use it to embellish seltzer, lemonade or iced tea, and use it to make Pomegranate Limoncello Cocktail. If you don’t have agave syrup on hand, maple syrup or honey will substitute nicely. This cocktail is not too sweet, but you can increase the agave if you like.
Happy New Year and happy mixing.
Meyer Lemon Mezcal Cocktail
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
½ tablespoon blue agave syrup
2 ounces mezcal
1 ounce pomegranate juice
1 ounce fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon juice from pickled hot peppers
kosher salt, placed in shallow bowl
lemon shell from squeezed Meyer lemon
optional garnish : meyer lemon zest
- In clean jar or cocktail shaker, stir together agave syrup and mezcal until blended.
- Add all three juices (omit pickled pepper juice if you don’t care for heat) and blend.
- Rub rim of cocktail glass with lemon shell and dip rim of glass in kosher salt.
- Add several ice cubes to mezcal mixture, give a few shakes, then strain into cocktail glass.
- Garnish if desired with lemon zest.