Viva la Vida by Patrick K. Bolster at 5½ Bar. / Ben Twingleyemail@example.com
Cinco de Mayo is around the corner, so let’s celebrate!
Wait, what are we celebrating?
Oh yeah, we are drinking in commemoration of the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. What you may not know is that this victory also helped to lead the Union’s victory in the American Civil War, because France could no longer supply the South with soldiers. I’ll drink to that!
So, what are we drinking? If you instantaneously thought about a Corona or tequila, you may want to reconsider, especially since there is an animal named mezcal. Mezcal is sort of tequila’s older, more stoic brother whose production and traditions have not changed for centuries. Some of the ancient traditions of producing mezcal include adding a chicken or turkey breast to the mash to add flavor.
This brings us to the mezcals of Del Maguey; arguably the best mezcals in the world. Ron Cooper, an artist from Taos, N.M., established a mezcal bottling company in Oaxaca back in the ’90s. His company, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcals, has earned respect in the United States and in Mexico. Although sipping mezcal straight is the preferred method, it can provide a very rich and savory flavor to any drink. In cocktails, it must be used with delicacy by a professional who can balance its strong character with other accompanying flavors.
My cocktail, Viva la Vida, is a toast to Ron Cooper and Mexico and their influences on American culture. I balanced the smoky/savory Del Maguey’s Mezcal Vida with the rich flavors of St. Germain Elderflower liqueur and celery bitters, with a topping of sparkling wine for a punch!
This Cinco de Mayo, we will have a tasting of Ron Cooper’s Mezcals with food accompaniments at the 5½ Bar.
Viva La Vida
Viva La Vida
.75oz Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
. 75oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
Splash fresh lemon juice
Lemon twist, for garnish
Combine liquids (sans sparkling wine and garnish) in a shaker, cap, then shake until frost forms on the outside of the tin. Strain mixture into a Champagne flute or chilled coupe glass, then top with sparkling wine and garnish with lemon twist. Salud.
5½ Bar & Lounge at Vinyl Music Hall, 5½ E. Garden St. Visit www.vinylmusichall.com.