Food & Drink
Scotch or Mescal: Cual es mas macho?
Published: December 23, 2013
The project raises fund through Sip for Tip fundraisers where participating bars donate $1 from a specific cocktail (the Aviacion in Esquire’s case) and proceeds go toward academic research on tequila heritage.
When it comes to heritage, Eaves hopes San Antonio’s rich Mexican-American history will help drive interest in mescal.
“[Mescal’s] got a rich, centuries-old tradition in Mexico, and it’s something that’s becoming more embraced as a cultural treasure,” he said. “It’s something that people learn from their family, living on a small little ranch where you can find three to four generations at any given time and there’s a 4-year-old helping and a 90-year-old man drinking mescal and telling them what they’re doing wrong. The family and community translate into the bottle, too.”
Eaves suggests talking to a professional when considering mescal. Of course, there are cheap price points to avoid, but not all pricey labels are created equal, either.
“You have to have an understanding of what you’re buying,” he said while describing the plethora of characteristics that can be found in a mescal: aggressive smoke, floral and citrus, pepper. “It’s a very interesting product and more than likely the most complex liquor in the world.”
He shared a recipe for a cocktail off Esquire’s winter menu, the Midnight in Mexico, based on Alfredo Cochardo’s memoir by the same name that goes into the journalist’s time across the border where he covered cartel violence and government corruption for more than a decade. The drink combines Espadin mescal, Ancho Reyes (an ancho chile liqueur) and Fernet de Vallet for a pitch black, unforgiving result.
It’s Kind of a Big Deal
On the other hand, scotch is scotch. The Scotland-specific whiskey (they would write it ‘whisky’) has a following all its own, as recipes and notes vary from each of the five regions—Highlands, Lowlands, Islay, Campbeltown and Speyside—whether it’s single malt, single grain or any combination in between.
At three weeks old, the bar program at Minnie’s Tavern is finding its legs. While chef Andrew Weissman still hopes to encourage bar-goers to drink neat or with a drop or two of H20, newly appointed bar manager Andy Hack is finding ways to incorporate what we’re calling ‘gateway cocktails’ amid the sea of ryes.
At 25, Hack still considers himself a student of the growing cocktail scene. He was trained by Sasha Petraske while at Bohanan’s before heading to Minnie’s to helm his own program. Hack’s biggest draw is his enthusiasm for the craft. He spends his off-days sampling scotch flights at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille while taking piles of notes.
Hack suggests starting with a 10 year Glenmorangie original, a floral spirit from the Highlands with notes of vanilla, peaches and citrus. “[Glenmorangie] like to advertise themselves as being the ‘wine of the scotch world’ and they’ll age a lot of their older expressions in sherry casks, or port,” he said.
> Email Jessica Elizarraras