This may get me kicked out of the club, but I don’t really like Sidecars or Whiskey Sours. The combination of wood-aged liquor with citrus and/or orange liqueur just tastes weird to me. In fact, I tend to avoid any drink that combines whiskey or brandy and lemon juice, because I can never enjoy them properly. No great loss, really; while the Sidecar is certainly a drink worth proselytizing, there are plenty of other things to do with that cognac. And Whiskey Sours are always a little declasse, if you ask me, unless they’re jazzed up into a Delicious or Dizzy or What-Have-You Sour.
So I was delighted to discover the Commodore, in Wondrich’s Esquire Drinks: essentially a Whiskey Daisy with creme de cacao substituted for the Cointreau (note that there is another, more boring Commodore out there, being essentially a Whiskey Sour with a dash of orange bitters, and also a Commodore Perry, which is unrelated). Somehow, the chocolate flavor smoothed over whatever it is that normally irritates me about citrus/whiskey combinations.
That was then! Yesterday, I was thinking about how much I like mezcal. I think about that a lot. And about how well agave liquors and chocolate go together (a not entirely unexpected combinatorial triumph). And that made me, in turn, think of taking a Beachfire Margarita, throwing out the Cointreau, and forcing in some creme de cacao and Xocolatl bitters. I had to reverse my usual 3-2-1 tequila-Cointreau-lime juice ratio, since creme de cacao is a lot sweeter than Cointreau, but that drop in chocolate power was more than made up for by the Xocolatl bitters.
Remember the Alamo
- 1 oz reposado tequila (I used Sauza Hornitos)
- 1/2 oz joven mezcal (I used Del Maguey Chichicapa)
- 1 oz lime juice
- 1/2 oz creme de cacao (I used Marie Brizard, and, btw, why are there no “artisanal” creme de cacaos?)
- 2 dashes Bittermen’s Xocolatl Bitters
Combine all ingredients, shake well with ice. Strain and serve up in a salt-rimmed short glass.
I know many people treat mezcal as kind of an optional ingredient, but this drink alone justifies the hefty price. I don’t have words for how good it is.
And, yeah, naming is not my strong suit. But, hey, remember that Alamo place? That had something to do with Mexico, right? Or Texas. Maybe it was Texas. But I am willing to let Mexico have Texas back (please). And there is totally a drink called Remember the Maine (a pretty sweet drink, too). So this works, right?
Oh, come on. It’s been a hard week.