From the bar: Rhubarb Mezcalarita
I first tasted Mezcal when we were living in New York City a few years ago. We were fortunate enough to indulge in an incredible meal at Wylie Dufresne’s, WD-50, but because our table wasn’t ready on time, we were left in the entertainment of the talented mixologist – and my taste buds would forever be opened to the infinite potential of the cocktail. Up until then, I stayed very close to the mixed spirits that were familiar to me – cranberry vodkas, margaritas, gin & tonics, the occasional white Russian at the bowling alley (yes, the Dude would abide). Nothing fancy. But when my lips tasted the drink that was placed in front of me, dubbed “Que Pasa Calabaza”, my mind was blown. Cocoa nib infused mezcal danced around with yuzu, liquified squash and black salt. It was so good that I ordered another….and then another. That was fall, so squash was quite appropriate. This is spring, so I thought rhubarb quite fitting.
Mezcal seems to be having a moment these days, I’m seeing it more and more – on blogs, on menus at restaurants, in this month’s issue of Sunset Magazine. I like that. I like mezcal. It’s often described as tequila’s cousin because it’s made of the same agave plant. But mezcal tastes nothing like tequila, it’s in a league of its own. Roasting the agave gives this Oaxacan spirit rich, smokey gusto. The first descriptor that often comes to mind for me is always “manly”. But don’t worry ladies, rhubarb and lime are here to balance things out. This drink is a nice repose from the usual margarita and I hope you’ll make it. Cheers guys! -xo
Rhubarb Mezcal Margarita
Makes 4 servings
1 cup rhubarb, chopped
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
4 shots mezcal
1/2 cup limes juice, about 4 large limes + more for garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring sugar and water to a slight boil. Add the rhubarb and cook at medium heat for 10 minutes. Let cool in the pan, about 30 minutes, and strain syrup into a jar or lidded container. Note: You can reserve the sugared rhubarb pulp. It’s perfect for spreading on toast or serving warm over vanilla ice cream.
Salt the rim of four lowball glasses. Place 1 pinch of salt at the bottom of each glass and fill with ice.
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice followed by 4 oz. rhubarb syrup, mezcal, and lime juice. Shake vigorously until chilled. Pour into prepped glasses. Garnish with lime. Salude!