6.28.13 Burnt Offering
Refreshing rains have moved through here again, bashing the delicate ferns and denuding the last downy petals from the peonies. The enormous jasmine bush that leans over the neighbor's fence has bloomed, filling the air with a sultry sweet fragrance that wafts through our cottage and makes me swoon. There is no hissing of summer lawns here, just the chirps, caws and warbles of our avian choir.
I've often heard it said that good tequila is wasted in a mixed drink. Don't believe it. I'm not using an añejo sipping tequila here, but I do like a nice smooth reposado like this one, named after Pancho Villas' famous horse. It's a bit of an acquired taste but I am now smitten with mezcal (currently enjoying this reposado) and love how its herbal smokiness complements anything grilled. Unfamiliar with these terms? Joven, meaning youth, is an unaged spirit. Reposado means "rested" or lightly aged. Añejo means aged.
The cilantro and the smokiness take this far, far away from piña colada territory and deep into Mexico, the land of enchantment. And who wouldn't want to spend the weekend there? ¡Salud!
Piña Quemada (Smoky Pineapple Cocktail)
- — 1 cup pineapple in 1"-thick slices
- — 3 tablespoons palm sugar, divided (can substitute light brown or coconut sugar)
- — 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- — 2 ounces mezcal reposado
- — 3 ounces tequila reposado
- — 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves
- — 2 dashes Mexican mole bitters
- — 2 cups ice
- — 2 sprigs cilantro, for garnish
Preheat broiler on high.
Line a baking sheet with foil and lay pineapple on top. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon palm sugar and broil until nicely bronzed with a little char, about 10 minutes or more depending on your oven. Remove and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, place remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with lime juice in a small bowl and stir to dissolve sugar completely.
In a blender or Vitamix, place ice, pineapple, mezcal, tequila, sugar-lime syrup, bitters and cilantro leaves and process to a slushy consistency.
Pour into two glasses and garnish each with a sprig of cilantro before serving.