Cuir et Cassis Cocktail with Mezcal Union
Mezcal Union Uno is produced by a group of families in San Baltazar, Oaxaca.
Oaxaca is one of five states allowed to produce the spirit with the DOC protected term of “Mezcal”. Protection of the term became law in 1994. The other regions are Guerrero, Durango, San Luis Potosí & Zacatecas. There are 218 known varietals of the agave plant, which is a close relative of the Lily. There are 11 types of agave allowed in Mezcal production. Mezcal Union uses the common Espadín and wild Cirial agave. Outside of Mexico Mezcal Union is currently only available in New York City and Texas.
Mezcal novices first notice the smoky flavor. This comes from the freshly harvested piñas (agave hearts) roasting in pits in the ground. Tequila skips this process. To see Mezcal Union made watch the video above.
In the 1980’s mezcal was decried by spirit writers like Michael Jackson as a harsh version of Tequila and only shot to ‘chase the worm’. Today Mezcal has had a craft/image rebirth and is now found in beautiful cocktails or proudly sipped neat.
Mezcal Union Uno is a beautiful spirit. Classified as ‘Joven’, or ‘young’. It has a lightly smoky nose. Creamy mouthfeel. Hints of grass. Lingering mellow agave sweetness. Delicious.
Cuir et Cassis
Combine ingredients in stirring vessel. Add ice. Stir until very well chilled. Strain into chilled coupe. Express lemon oil over top of drink and serve.
For this cocktail I wanted something that would do such a lovely mezcal justice. To employ the smoky bouquet along with its creamy texture.
Deaths Door gin has a citrusy fennel quality, finishing very dry. Giffard Cassis builds a fruity roundness and enhances the creamy texture. The Moondog bitters are earthy and fade to a lingering clove smoke. Espresso gives some tart fruit and savory complexity. I add about 5 ml of bitters to every 10 ml of espresso. Since the drink has no citrus fruit in it, the cider vinegar adds some acidity for balance.