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Scotch or Mescal: Cual es mas macho?

Photo: Courtesy photo, License: N/A

Courtesy photo


To further our quest for that perfect gateway cocktail, Hack created the Half Famous, a combination of Famous Grouse, Benedictine liqueur, Angostura Bitters and Carpano Antica sweet vermouth topped with a healthy dose of pilsner foam. The result was sweet and light, with just a hint of effervescence to help break up the already-smooth scotch.

A hop-skip away at Blue Box, general manager Stephan Mendez has a classic scotch-based Blood and Sand on his fall menu. Introduced in the early 1920s, the drink was named after a 1922 bullfighter flick by the same name; Mendez’s rendition features equal parts Famous Grouse, Cherry Heering liqueur, orange juice and a house sweet vermouth blend of Noilly Prat, Carpano Antica and Punt e Mes.

“The Blood and Sand is a really good one to get into. It’s equal parts, so the scotch doesn’t overpower but you can still taste it in the cocktail,” Mendez said while also suggesting the Penicillin, of blended scotch, lemon juice, honey syrup and ginger, topped with a quarter ounce of Laphroaig. Finishing with the aromatic Islay single malt scotch adds subtle fragrance.

Boozers can look forward to the winter menu, which will include darker spirits and cocktails such as the Rob Roy, a scotch variant of a Manhattan, or a Bobby Burns named after Scottish poet Robert Burns made with scotch, sweet vermouth and Benedictine. He hinted at a scotch-white chocolate cocktail that’s still undergoing a few tweaks.

As with the other ’tenders, Mendez recommends practice—the best way to figure out which variety is for your is to sample as many as possible. And as I found out through my journey, asking doesn’t hurt either. These guys are chomping at the bit to educate the masses.

Midnight in Mexico
1 1/2ounces Espadin Mescal
3/4 ounce Ancho Reyes
3/4 ounce Fernet Vallet

Stir in mixing glass. Strain over large ice cube in an Old Fashioned glass. Express oil from peel of grapefruit and garnish with peel.

Via Houston Eaves/The Esquire Tavern

Blood and Sand
3/4 ounce Famous Grouse
3/4 ounce sweet vermouth blend (Mendez uses Carpano Antica, Noilly Prat and Punt e Mes)
3/4 ounce orange juice
3/4 ounce Cherry Heering

Build in shaker over ice. Shake and strain into coupe. Express oil from orange peel and garnish with peel.

Via Stephan Mendez/Blue Box

El Cenizo
1 ounce Zapatista infusion*
1 1/2ounces mescal pineapple infusion*
1 ounce simple syrup
1 ounce lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters

Add infusions, simple syrup, lime juice and 1 scoop of ice to shaker. Shake well. Strain into small rocks glass over ice. Add 1 dash of angostura bitters.
*Visit sacurrent.com for infusion recipes.

Via Johnny Hernandez/The Fruteria

Half Famous
1 1/2ounces Famous Grouse
1/4 ounce Benedictine liqueur
3/4 ounce Carpano Antica sweet vermouth
2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
1 ounce Pilsner foam

Build in shaker over ice. Shake and strain into coupe. Top with foam.

Via Andy Hack/Minnie’s Tavern

Drink 2013
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