Wednesday Movie Night … Cinco de Mayo and Vampires (what a mix)

by KeithP on May 6, 2010

It has been a few weeks since we had our last go at a WDN so what better day then Cinco de Mayo and as such, what better spirit to imbibe then tequila (or mezcal)

WMN Movie Selection: Twilight – New Moon.

WMN Movie Review: as noted previously, theSpeakista is a closet vampire movie fan and being a fan of the first Twilight movie I thought I would give this one a go.  It wasn’t bad, I like the slow build up to the werewolves and their entry into the movie at point to do battle with the rogue vampires but there was much too much down time spent away from the cool vampires and only a brief period (relative to the entire movie) spent with the Volturi.  There are worse movies you could watch but there are also better.

WMN Theme: Tequila and mezcal.

WMN Drinks: The Pinasca, an interesting mezcal-ish like margarita and the Tequila Manhattan.

Pinasca
Recipe loosely adapted from the menu at Bar Pleiades; proportions are assumed by theSpeakista.

•    2 oz Sombra Mezcal
•    1 oz fresh lime juice
•   1/2 oz agave nectar
•    A few slices or chunks of caramelized fresh pineapple
Garnish: rim the glass with a mixture of sugar, sea salt and cayenne pepper
Glass: chilled rocks glass
Tools: mixing glass and tin (shaker), Hawthorn strainer and fine mesh tea strainer

Assembly: Combine all ingredients in the glass with ice and shake for at least 20 seconds until well chilled, double-strain the mixture into the serving glass that has been filled with two or three large cubed ice cubes.

The verdict: In a sense this WDN theme also allowed me to do a Project Recreate based off of a drink the Boss had on our most recent trip to Bar Pleiades.  While yours truly is a recent convert to the religion of mezcal the Boss tends to have a some what more “common” set of tastes when it comes to spirits and I wasn’t sure how she would like the smoky profile.  This drink, as made at Bar Pleiades, is wonderfully refreshing with the mezcal offering a strong presence yet held nicely in check by the one-two punch of the tart citrus and sweetness both from the pineapple and agave.  The mezcal is not shrinking violet, I don’t see how it ever could be, but at the same time it does not over power the mix.  My recreate was pretty much on point to my tasting notes with the main difference being in my treatment of the pineapple.  My local “specialty” food store only had chunks of fresh cut pineapple available – no slices and not even whole pineapples.  I roasted them for a time and then tried to caramelize by broiling but this didn’t really create the same taste and texture we had/saw when at the bar and when I do this drink again I’ll have to do a better job on the pineapple.

Viva la Cinco de Mayo … where’s the tequila?  Having led off with a very rough riff on the margarita I wanted to do a slightly different style of drink for round two … theSpeakista did a search through prior tasting notes and I was torn between the Theobroma and a riff on my favorite cocktail. I opted for another riff …

Tequila Manhattan
Recipe adapted from Jays fantastic blog at OhGosh!

•    2 oz anejo tequila (Patron Anejo tequila was used)
•    1/2 oz sweet vermouth (Carpano Antica … of course)
•    1/4 oz Licor 43
•    2 dash Angostura bitters
•    1 dash of orange bitters (Regan’s was used)
Garnish: none
Glass: champagne coupe
Tools: mixing glass, barspoon and julep strainer

Assembly: Combine all ingredients in the mixing glass add ice and stir for 30 seconds until well chilled. Strain into the serving glass and enjoy.

The verdict: Truth be told I have made this one before and similar to my prior attempt it’s a nice departure from the norm.  I made a slight tweak to Jays recipe in that I did not use prescribed ice filled old fashioned glass but rather defaulted to the standard champagne coupe … it was nice this way although I think in retrospect the ice might help to mellow things a little better especially on the finish.  This is an extremely herbal drink – the tequila and the Carpano come together nicely and there is a very slight spicy sweetness from the Licor 43.  What is interesting about this formulation is how the “bitters” taste, either from the combination of the two strong bitters used or that plus the herbal/floral funk from the Carpano and the tequila, seem to build on the palate post tasting. A thoroughly enjoyable way to mix it up a bit on this WDN homage to Cinco de Mayo (and yes, plenty of enchiladas, taquitos, rice and beans were also had this fine evening).

theSpeakista asks?

1. Other then the standard (albeit fine …) Margarita, what might you have subbed in as an interesting tequila or mezcal-based drink?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Sam May 8, 2010 at 3:46 pm

Two riffs on the margarita that I really dig are the Prado (subbing Cointreau out for maraschino) and the Smoky Margarita (http://www.jacobgrier.com/blog/archives/3345.html). I also like a solid tequila/anejo old fashioned or Robert Hess’ Rosita. I could go on, but I won’t.

KeithP May 8, 2010 at 6:27 pm

A tequila old fashioned is one of my favs as well and i have tried the Prado after seeing Paul write about it on Cocktail Chronicles. Will have to give the smoky a try.

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