Recently Barbara and I have taken several trips down to Scottsdale and Tucson for business and to warm up our bones in the desert sunshine. One of our finds in Tucson was Elvira’s Restaurant; it was the inspiration for this smoky Aloe Verde Mezcal treat. The bartender at this bar was amazing, creative, informative, and entertaining. The drinks were desert inspired and completely out of my usual saddle.
Here’s a 2-minute video clip of the barkeeper showing us some of her concoctions. (My German friend, who you hear and see on the clip, runs the largest annual liquor trade fair in Europe and he was suitably impressed!)
I loved the variety of southwest-inspired cocktails. In fact, I’m ordering a few other spirits from some of the local micro distillers there. It was here that I got turned on to the smoky flavor of Mezcal and for the first time had an aloe liqueur called Chareau. The Montelobos Mezcal is a unique charred or smoky flavor. It reminds me of mesquite barbecue smoke.
- 3 or 4 fresh mint leaves
- 1 or 2 slices of cucumber
- 1-ounce lime juice
- 2 1/2-ounces of Montelobos Mezcal
- 2-ounces Chareau Aloe Liqueur
- 1/2- or 1-ounce Agave Nectar
Muddle well the mint, cucumber, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker. Add a good amount of ice and add the Mezcal, the Chareau, and Agave Nectar. Shake well, pour over an ice-filled rocks glass. You can add a drop more of Agave to offset the some of the tartness of the limes if that’s more to your taste. I generally like to give mine a little boost from the Mesquite Charcoal Montelobos. You adjust as needed. The cucumber adds a great taste, but you have to keep it in balance with the mint and lime juice. The recipe above should yield a great new flavor, but you may want to tweak the recipe to your own taste.