Thursday, March 1, 2012

oaxaca moon

1 1/2 oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
3/4 oz Pineau des Charentes
1/2 oz Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/4 oz Orange Juice
1/4 oz Turbinado Sugar
1 dash Falernum Bitters

Shake with ice and double strain into a rocks glass containing 3 ice cubes. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Two Mondays ago, Andrea and I stopped at Bergamot for drinks with bartender Paul Manzelli. For my first drink, I asked Paul for the Oaxaca Moon which was new to the cocktail menu. I was lured in with the Pineau des Charentes, an underused cocktail ingredient. Pineau is an aperitif fortified wine made from a blend of lightly fermented grape must and Cognac eau de vie; one of its most famous cocktail uses is in the Pompadour from Frank Meier's 1934 The Artistry Of Mixing Drinks. It did not occur to me until later that the Oaxaca Moon appears to be a riff of the Scotch and St. Germain-laden Northern Lights that Paul used to make at Craigie on Main. Interestingly, in the write up for the Northern Lights, I recommended Zirbenz as a substitute for its Douglas Fir Eau de Vie; evidently, the bartenders at Bergamot thought the same thing.
The Oaxaca Moon began with a smoke and citrus aroma. The citrus continued on into the sip where it mingled with the Pineau's wine flavors. Finally, the swallow offered up smoky mezcal and Zirbenz's pine notes to round out the drink. Overall, it was less floral and more smoky than the Northern Lights and came across more as an unique drink than a slight tweaking of the original.

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