Thursday, June 18, 2015

Mexican Firing Squad

Mexican Firing Squad

This is a cocktail I first had at Herbsaint in New Orleans, where I've stopped more than once for lunch before heading to the New Orleans airport. This was my first time making it at home, and so far it's the clear winner of the week. While I liked the previous two cocktails, I don't find the tart/sweet combination of grenadine to the be the best compliment to rye or Applejack. It's perfectly nice, but I don't really see myself reaching for those recipes time and time again.

The Mexican Firing Squad is another matter. Tequila was made for cocktails that play on tart and sweet notes. Something about this recipe is just so much more harmonious than the previous two. And while just about anything involving tequila and lime juice is bound to be reminiscent of a margarita, the Mexican Firing Squad does a good job of holding its own territory. It's the grenadine and the bitters that do it.

There are a few different versions of this recipe floating around online. A couple call for club soda, and at least one I saw recommended reposado tequila instead of blanco. I haven't had a chance to experiment, but I thought the recipe below was delicious. On a lark (after I took the photos), I did dust one of the cocktails with chipotle chili powder. I thought the spice was a nice addition (though my lips are burning just a little bit). Another thing I can't wait to try is making this cocktail with mezcal. Not only do I love mezcal, but John McEvoy of Mezcal PhD called the mezcal Mexican Firing Squad one of the two greatest mezcal cocktails known to mankind. Strong words from someone who literally wrote a book on mezcal.

Mexican Firing Squad

History: For some reason I assumed this was a new cocktail, but it turns out it's been around for a while. It was discovered by writer and cocktail historian Charles Baker at the La Cucaracha Bar in Mexico City in 1937. He included the recipe in Gentleman's Companion, Volume II: Jigger, Beaker and Flask.

Mexican Firing Squad

2 oz. tequila blanco
3/4 oz. lime juice
3/4 oz. grenadine
5 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine ingredients in a shaker. Add ice and shake until chilled. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of lime. And chili powder, if you're feeling adventurous.

Recipe from Punch.

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