Sunday, March 10, 2019

fade to black

1 oz Mezcal (Fidencio)
1 oz Ramazzotti Amaro
1/4 oz Smith & Cross Rum
2 dash Bittermens Mole Bitters
1 Whole Egg

Shake once without ice and once with ice, strain into a Collins glass, and top with Negro Modelo beer (~8 oz Trader José's Dark Lager).

Two Sundays ago, I added a Negro Modelo beer to my shopping list to finally make the Fade to Black that appeared in Ron Cooper's Finding Mezcal book. The recipe was crafted by Jeremy Oertel at Death & Co., and he was influenced by his time spent at Phil Ward's agave bar Mayahuel. While in Trader Joe's where I had previously spotted single bottles of Negro Modelo, I found that they only had Modelo's regular pale lager. Andrea pointed out that they did have a house brand dark lager that I ended up purchasing. Luckily, I found that the Trader José brand brought more to the table with a delightful wood smoke nose complementary to the mezcal's aromas that is absent in Negro Modelo itself.
Overall, the style reminded me of the Pop-In -- an old style of drink that began as a shot in a beer (opposed to the classic Boilermaker which is a shot beside a beer). Will Thompson at Drink was the first to introduce it to me after he learned about it at Dead Rabbits in Manhattan, and their version was spirits, sweetener, and whole egg that was lightened by beer. Here, the spirits were mezcal and a hint of funky Jamaican rum and the sweetener was a dark amaro. Once prepared, the Fade to Black greeted the senses with a caramel and smoke-filled nose. Next, a creamy and caramel sip gave way to agave, wood smoke, and chocolate flavors on the swallow. The Smith & Cross' contribution was not especially apparent in the mix, but as Jim Romdall pointed out, rum funk is the seasoning of cocktails to provide depth of flavor, and many cocktails would be flatter without it.

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