These are the best margarita's ever! What makes them special is a homemade sweet-sour-smokey agave and mezcal vinegar.
Mezcal is a relative of tequila made from distilled agave. It is roasted over a fire, giving it a smokey and complex flavor. It is made in small batches, mostly in Oaxaca. It is usually drunk straight on the rocks, like a scotch. So have a shot first!
For today, I am mixing up a less than traditional cocktail. The base is the Perfect Margarita from chow, which is a simple classic. Not too sweet, the drink highlights the mezcal or tequila and lime.
Instead of the traditional cointreau, this recipe uses a small quantity of precious elixir: Lou Bank's homemade Agave Nectar Mezcal Raspberry Vinegar. Lou honed his skills as the first distiller for Rogue. His homemade vinegars are out of this world.
1/2 oz Lou Bank Agave Nectar Mezcal Raspberry Vinegar (or Cointreau)
1 1/2 ounces traditional Mezcal, like Real Minero (or 100 percent agave blanco tequila)
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
Mix all ingredients. Add a bit of simple syrup for sweetness if desired. A dash of angostura bitters can also add a bit of spice.
For a salty edge, dip the rim of the glass into a shallow bowl of mezcal, drip off excess. Then dip
the rim in a coarse salt to coat. The alcohol evaporates more quickly than water, leaving the salt crispy and not too sticky.
For the version in the picture I served it over maple sap ice cubes left over from my maple syrup experiments. It provides just a hint of sweetness.
Enjoy Cinco de Mayo! Be sure to tune in to watch Masterchef on June 6th!