Thursday, August 15, 2013

downtown at dawn

1 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 oz Laird's Bonded Apple Brandy
3/4 oz Bénédictine
3/4 oz Cocchi Sweet Vermouth
1/2 oz Lime Juice

Shake with ice and strain into a single old fashioned glass.

A few weeks ago, my bar manager wanted to change up our mezcal offerings on the menu and asked that I craft something with said spirit. The only question I asked was shaken or stirred, and he wanted something shaken to replace the Laguna Sunrise. While the Laguna Sunrise is a delicious tall drink with mezcal, grapefruit juice, Kina L'Avion D'Or, pear liqueur, and a sparkling wine float, it just sounds too inviting. People will order it from servers without realizing that mezcal is smoky, and sadly, many of them get sent back. After crafting my mezcal recipe, I searched for a name; when I stumbled upon Richard Hell & the Voidoid's song "Downtown at Dawn," it had a gritty angle that still captured the sunrise albeit a sunrise from an urban all-nighter perspective.
Instead of going full mezcal, I split the spirit with apple brandy -- a pairing I appreciated in Portland such as in Teardrop's Moment in the Sun (the other drink I was thinking of at the time was actually a Batavia Arrack and apple brandy pairing in Kask's Prospector, not a mezcal one). The rest of the ingredients fell into place as ways to complement and temper the mezcal into a yin and yang of a stiff and smoky drink in harmony with a fruity and herbal one. Word on the street is that the drink will appear two menu revisions from now since my Chutes & Ladders should appear on the next; when asked which one I wanted on the next menu, the Chutes & Ladders seemed more summery and Downtown at Dawn seemed more like an autumnal libation.

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