18 August 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Mezcal #9: Aztecali

This is a very different mezcal from any other mezcal that I have had till date. For starters, this is the first mezcal I had that is not from Oaxaca. In fact, this is from Zacatecas (one of the other nine states that can claim to call it mezcal).

My good friend from office – Luz Barajas was visiting her family in Mexico. She knew about my interest in Mezcals. Her husband who is from the Zacatecas area got this for me! Thank you Luz !!

The remarkable thing about this mezcal is that it has absolutely no smokiness to it. In many ways, I am surprised that they even call it mezcal. The agave is NOT simmered in fire underground – which I thought is a must for any mezcal. Also, instead of espadin (the most commonly used agave in Oaxaca), this uses the blue agave – which is what Tequila is made from.

Finally, the variety I had is Anejo – so this has been aged for 18 months in American white oak barrels unlike the Joven or Blanco mezcals that I have.

Made by Real de Jalpa, this has a different production process from traditional mezcals. Like I mentioned, it does not do the underground fire thing. Also, it uses stainless steel stills instead of copper ones. However, it does do double distillation which is a must for mezcals. At least to me, this is closer to a tequila than a mezcal.

Folks who do not like smokiness (like Sharmila) and those who would love to have keto-compliant drinks (low glycemically), this would be a great choice. I also think this will make for some great cocktails…

10 August 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Division Bell

I got this from Food and Wine magazine where they featured New York’s renowned bartender Phil Ward. This cocktail was one of the signature ones when Mayahuel opened in East Village.

Mezcal, Aperol, Maraschino Liqueur and Lime juice. I am not usually a mezcal cocktail person (like it neat), but this was somewhat of an exception. Loved the bitterness as well as the earthy tones that got stronger the more you held the sip in the mouth. I am also not a big citrus (lime specially) person in my drinks. The prescribed proportions was too much for me. I will go with far less on the next one.

29 June 2019

From the bartender’s corner – Riverside Cocktail

Our company event is coming up. Which means I get to do the fun part of a CEO job – be the bartender. In previous companies, the logo always had one color. Making company cocktails were relatively easier.

But my current company – Riverside Insights – has two colors. And anybody who knows a little about mixology will tell you immediately after looking at the colors that they are very simple colors to make cocktails of. Separately. But putting them together is a chore. Midori (green) and Curacao (blue) are both fairly low in viscosity and will mix immediately upon pouring.

After making a complete mess in my bar, I think I have hit upon the perfect formulation with crushed ice, curacao, midori, vodka and simple syrup. The picture was taken about 5 minutes after making the drink. The colors stayed reasonably separated. Another 10 minutes and they started mixing up.

Does anybody else have any other trick up their sleeve that can help me?