Friday, April 3, 2015

Mystic Rain

Never let words get in the way of a lyrical image.

Mystic Rain
1 oz reposado mezcal (Los Amantes)
3/4 oz green Chartreuse
1/2 oz Meyer lemon juice
4 oz San Pellegrino
Meyer lemon twist & tarragon for garnish

Shake the first three ingredients with light ice. 
Strain over fresh ice and San Pellegrino in a Collins or Highball glass. 

The Los Amantes is elegant meaty mystic-smoky oddness, and it combines with the anise spice of tarragon and Chartreuse, and butterfly perfume and not-over-sharpness of Meyer lemon to create a rain-spritzed zen bower. You'll know what I'm talking about if you've ever walked out of a spa covered in varied unguents smelling exactly like Chartreuse. This is just a cocktail to go along with the experience.

Mystic Rain hails from about this time last year, but the season changed before I could gather tasting notes and publish. In addition to my above-mentioned (lone) spa visit, I was also directly inspired by Scott Diaz's Spa Day from last April's MxMo. As I learned after said visit, apparently there's such a thing as Spa Week* every April - which I missed out on, meh. The deeper goal with Mystic Rain was to evoke the sprightliness and mist of green March transitioning into yellow April (ducklings and rain slickers and buttercups to go with the showers - just look at the end of that one Richard Scary book if you doubt my authenticity), but hey if you're looking for an occasion to sip, there you go; if you notice from my repertoire, I tend have no clue how to fit most of these cocktails into time-appropriate milieus so take this advice and run with it.

Go out of your way to track down this reposado mezcal if you can - the NYT recommends it as the only aged mezcal worth tracking down, and there's such a unique emergent quality to it that you might forget you're sipping an agave spirit. The aging mellows it nicely, without bringing much sweetness. [*I don't make any money from FdV, receive free samples or am paid to promote anything, mind you. Blog-love to those with different policies, but I much prefer the ethical and creative freedom to speak my mind (and shoot off my mouth), good or bad.]

Granted, there aren't a lot of recipes keyed to the spirit beyond tequila-substitutions yet, but here's another one, the sherry and Cynar-laden Tobacco Road by Nick Caruana of The Straight Up, if you're looking.

Not to be remiss, when double-checking for similar recipes out there I found the unattributed gin-based 75 & Sunny. While more elaborate, the spring-evocative combination of Chartreuse and tarragon soothes so well in a highball.