Friday, May 15, 2015

Mixology Monday: Cuauhtémoc


This month's Mixology Monday theme is "I'll Take Manhattan!" The challenge is to come up with your own spin on, you guessed it, the Manhattan. That's a fair bit of pressure. I mean, it's one thing to improve upon a cocktail you're ashamed you ever drank, but it's dangerous to mess with perfection.

Mixology MondayWhen I saw the announcement, my Monday post on mezcal was still fresh in my mind. I'd just gotten done writing about how bartenders are swapping out the main ingredients in classic cocktails with mezcal left and right. So why not a mezcal Manhattan? It was worth a try.

After much trial and error (the fun kind, where you get to drink the errors), I decided that simply swapping out rye for mezcal didn't work; the mezcal was too overpowering. I tried adding in some reposado tequila to tone it down, but that just didn't harmonize with the vermouth the way that rye does. Then I remembered my recent taste test of blanco, reposado, and anejo tequilas. Reposado and anejo are both aged in bourbon barrels, giving them smoky vanilla notes similar to that of bourbon. The taste wasn't strong enough in my reposado, but I thought an anejo might work better. I would have loved to splurge on Cabo Wabo, the anejo I tried before I wrote the post, but the $60 price tag was a bit much. I settled on Espolon, which seems to be consistently rated highly for its price ($30). And it really worked. To keep with the theme, I also switched out the Angostura bitters with Bittermen's Xocoltl Mole Bitters.

I decided to give my creation a somewhat unwieldy name: the Cuauhtémoc. Cuauhtémoc is the main borough of Mexico City, essentially what Manhattan is for New York. Hard to spell, easy to drink. I bet mine won't be the only tequila or mezcal Manhattan in the Mixology Monday bunch, and I can't wait to see what other folks come up with. Cheers!

UPDATE: The MXMO roundup is here!


2 oz. anejo tequila (I used Espolon)
1 oz. sweet vermouth (I used Carpano Antica Formula)
1/2 oz. mezcal
2 dashes mole bitters

Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled. Strain into a cocktail glass or coupe. Garnish with a slice of lime and a brandied cherry.

1 comment :

  1. Cheers! Thanks for participating this month!