Friday, May 27, 2022


1 1/2 oz Rye Whiskey (Rittenhouse)
1/2 oz Mezcal (Peloton de la Muerte)
1/2 oz Benedictine
1/2 oz Suze Gentian Liqueur
2 dash Chocolate Bitters (Angostura Cocoa)

Stir with ice, strain into a cocktail coupe, and garnish with a lemon twist.
Two Fridays ago after my bar shift, I began thinking about the gentian cocktails that I have recently made. Gentian liqueur pairs well both with mezcal in recipes like the Spring Blossom and with Benedictine in the Enigma of Desire, Mums the Word, and other drinks. The 3:1 rye whiskey to mezcal base spirit is one that I have grown to appreciate through the years especially in Death & Co. recipes. Assembling all the components, I dubbed this one the Vaquero meaning cowboy. In the glass, the Vaquero greeted the senses with lemon, caramel, and smoke aromas. Next, a caramel sip rode into rye, smoky vegetal, and herbal flavors on the swallow with a chocolate finish. Overall, the swallow came across a bit sweeter than the sip; perhaps the Benedictine can be decreased by 1/8 to 1/4 oz to adjust for that balance.

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