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We’re always striving to enhance and enlighten our palates. This month, we step to the left of a
typical tequila with a thoroughly loco libation.
T E X T BY RYAN JAR R ELL
F irst, an apology: I’m sorry, tequila. You were always
there for me; from my first rambunctious and ill-advised
overindulgence at the tender age of who-even-remembers-
anymore to so many of the selfsame since. Every night that
I wanted to make a potentially disastrous series of decisions,
there you were, eagerly waiting by the door to usher me into a
night of wonder, whimsy and the occasional misplacement of
an extremely expensive cell phone. I’m sorry because I have a
new love in my life now, a smoky mistress saturated with the
subtle, spicy flavors of the southeast. Although both born of the
piña of the agave plant, the distinction between an industrially
processed tequila and an artisanal Mezcal ends right there.
Unrestricted in its choice of agave bases (tequila can legally be
processed only from the blue agave strain), the agave is roasted
in an underground pit lined with carefully selected igneous
rock, imbuing the plant with its signature sensual smoky flavor.
Under the watchful eye of a master mescalero, the plant is then
crushed, fermented and finally bottled into the engaging and
flavorsome elixir we’ve all come to know and love. Gaining an
upsurge in popularity since the mid-1990’s, despite a Mezcal-
based cocktail gracing the menu of every hip bar in town, this
is still a woefully underpurchased beverage that’s just as good
138 by itself as it is with every ingredient in a mixologist’s toolkit.
So next time you’re shopping for a satisfying spirit to bring to a
party or just an interesting addition to your home bar, remember
that I’ve made mine Mezcal.
Support Local Mezcalerias
Interested in finding the finest in local agavecraft? Baby
Jane’s namesake Bebito is a beautifully balanced
medley of Montelobos Mescal, Luxardo Maraschino,
Chartreuse, fresh lime juice, jalapeno, rosemary and salt.
Adding a smoky, sultry undertone to the Eastside of our city,
The Anderson’s Mr. Anderson is an exhilarating
blend of Wild Turkey Rye, mezcal and cardamom-infused
vermouth. For a truly in-depth introduction to this inebriate,
look no further than Miami Beach’s Clandestino
Pub, a cozy hole-in-the-wall that’s recently reinvented
itself as a dedicated mezcaleria. Offering over 18
artisanally crafted Mezcal cocktails, head here
when you’re ready for a comprehensive introduction to this
multi-layered liquor. And, once you’re done, make sure to
come back for another round.