In a few years, the mixologically-minded may look back at 2012 as the first summer of mezcal. Even potentially bad news is paying dividends; bartenders who have been instrumental in spreading the word about a potentially destructive new rule by the Mexican body that oversees agave spirit production rules, have alerted their peers that there is something special going on in those bottles of smokey agave. (For information about the regulatory fuss, go to the Tequila Interchange Project website.)
Meanwhile, there’s an explosion of cocktails including mezcal:
- At Sepia restaurant in Chicago, head bartender Josh Pearson included in his summer menu Guide to Better Living – mezcal, Lillet rosé, muddled strawberries and lemonade.
- At Craigie On Main in Cambridge, MA, head barman Ted Gallagher mixes mezcal, Thai chili, date molasses, house-made orange and lemon syrup, lime juice, molé bitters and sparkling wine for his Civilian.
Sepia Bar in Chicago and Josh Pearson, head bartender