“Origin: I created this for Sombra mezcal founder Richard Betts in the winter of 2008.
Logic: At the time, I was fascinated with the way peated whisky and mezcal added a smoky quality to drinks, and used the recipe to explore as many flavors as I could. Passion fruit’s heady perfume notes are reminiscent of the wild aromas of the crushed agave during natural, open-vat fermentation. The cucumber reinforces the vegetal character, while the lime and ginger add acidity and spice. A pinch of Mexican chile, which is commonly added to slices of jicama and oranges served as snacks in mezcalerias, adds heat and an earthy quality that balances the smoke. When mixed correctly, it’s strong, sweet, sour, smoky, vegetal, hot, and even a little floral, thanks to the aromatic cucumber garnish.
Hacks: Originally, Richard was sourcing mezcal from Ron Cooper’s palenque in San Luis Del Río. When Richard switched palenques, and Ron started producing Vida there, I switched to Vida because I prefer this drink with San Luis Del Rio mezcal. This recipe is a high-wire act with little room for substitutions.”– Jim Meehan
Reprinted with permission from Meehan’s Bartender Manual, by Jim Meehan, copyright © 2017 by Mixography Inc. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Click here to purchase your own copy.
- 1 1/2 ounces Del Maguey Vida mezcal
- 1 ounce ginger wort
- 3/4 ounce lime juice
- 3/4 ounce Boiron passion fruit purée
- 1/2 ounce agave syrup
- 3 cucumber slices (plus 1 for garnish)
- Garnish: candied ginger, pinch of ground chile
- Muddle the cucumber slices and agave syrup, then add the remaining ingredients. Shake with ice, then fine-strain into a chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with the candied ginger picked to the cucumber slice, and a pinch of ground chile.