INGREDIENTS: 2 oz blanco tequila (or mezcal) ¾ oz grenadine* ¾ oz fresh lime juice 3 dashes Angostura bitters 1 dash lime bitters Splash of soda Lime wheel, for garnish
Shake all the ingredients except soda with ice. Strain over fresh ice in a Collins glass. Top with soda and garnish with a lime wheel. Serves 1.
*La Mezcaleria’s grenadine: Place 1 cup pomegranate juice (fresh is best, but bottled 100-per-cent pomegranate juice will also work) in a small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for approximately 5 minutes. To preserve the bright, fresh flavour, do not boil or reduce the juice. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup sugar and a couple of dashes of orange flower water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. This will keep, refrigerated, in a clean glass jar for up to a week.
The coa is a specialized hoe used to harvest agave. Here it’s also the inspiration for Luke McInnes’ tequila-based variation on a Caribbean-style swizzle, now on the menu at Blue Water Café.
• 1 oz (30 mL) blanco tequila
• 1 oz (30 mL) watermelon-infused Lillet Blanc (see note)
• 0.25 oz (7 mL) Campari
• 0.25 oz (7 mL) agave syrup
• 1 oz (30 mL) lime juice
• 3 dashes black peppercorn tincture (see note)
Stir—or swizzle—all the ingredients together in a highball glass, then fill the glass with crushed ice. Garnish with a sprig of mint. Serves 1.
“I decided to embrace the salty, briny taste of this Manzanilla sherry and create a pickle juice Martini on steroids. The salt and pepper rim complements the sherry’s terroir near the ocean, and the peppery punch of the tequila, while the celery bitters and oils from the lemon peel keep it light and crisp.”
Every cocktail starts with a base spirit. Every home cocktail bar should do the same. The question is, what spirits do you really need to stock at home? What’s worth spending money on (and what isn’t)? After all, those bright, shiny bottles can be expensive.