Wednesday, March 25, 2015

[payaso de rodeo]

1 oz Xicaru Mezcal
1 oz Lustau Oloroso Sherry
3/4 oz Bonal Gentiane-Quinquina
1/4 oz Avèze Gentiane Liqueur
2 dash Angostura Bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a cocktail coupe.

Two Mondays ago, I made my way over to the South End after staff training to have dinner at Estragon. For a first cocktail, I flipped through bartender Sahil Mehta's drink note book and spotted a mezcal and sherry number that was his drink of the day almost three months prior. Last time I was in, I had a companion drink called the Little Sinner that called for an amontillado sherry as the base spirit. Sahil described how he always enjoys the pairing of mezcal and oxidized sherries, but the combination of the two alone do not have a lot of mouthfeel. Therefore, he added Bonal and Avèze to round out the drink by donating more heft. For a name, I free associated about the smoky (mezcal) and earthy (Avèze) aspects and thought about cowboys and bullfighting. Somehow that seemed to fit with Estragon's Spanish theme, but El Vaquero (the Cowboy) did not capture my attention as much as El Payaso de Rodeo (the Rodeo Clown) did.
The cocktail began with a briny smoke and earthy grape bouquet. The grape followed into the sip, and the swallow gave forth an earthy bitter and agave flavor with a smoke finish. Overall, the drink was rather light and somewhat aperitif-y especially with the savory acid and bitter elements.

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