With fall in full swing and the holidays are around the corner, our drinking habits are experiencing their own seasonal change. Gone are the fruity citrus cocktails you crave on a warm day, in their place are spirituous drinks that are full of dark, rich flavors.
While whiskey based classic cocktails are often a go-to for fall and winter drinking, Beverage Director Amanda Reed is equally enthralled with drinks that use rum, brandy and mezcal. “With its agave base and bold nature, the spirit has become increasingly popular over the last few years,” says Reed, who traveled to Oaxaca—Mexico’s largest mezcal producing state—after winning the NW Tequila Fest cocktail competition. “Like so many of my colleagues, I am crazy for mezcal. While I love to sip and explore all the exotic varietals, a good quality espadine can be an amzing base for cocktails.”
Reed wanted to craft a drink inspired by her trip, but one that also honored the changing seasons. Since Oaxaca is also one of the largest producers of coffee in the world—at mezcal producer Tosba, agave and coffee fields grow side-by-side—it seemed only natural to pair the ingredients, and to add in another local agricultural specialty: chocolate. And thus, a coffee bean and mezcal infusion was born. Reed honored the mole spirit with crème de cacao, and then added ruby Port for berry fruit and spice notes. And, to bump up the complexity and add some bitter notes, she experimented with a number of amari before settling on Ramazzotti Amaro, which deftly ties the cocktail together.
1 ½ oz Coffee Bean-Infused Mezcal*
1 oz Ruby Port (Reed used Fonseca Ruby Port)
½ oz Crème de Cacao (Reed used Marie Brizzare)
½ oz Ramazzotti Amaro
Add all ingredients into a mixing glass. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with three coffee beans.
*To make coffee bean-infused mezcal, add 3tsp of fresh coffee beans per 750ml of mezcal (Reed used Nuestra Soledad imported by Erik Hakkinen from Zig Zag). Mix beans and store in a dark cool space for 24hrs. Fine strain with a cheesecloth to remove all coffee particles.