Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Vida Sleep Cocktail

By Warren Bobrow, Cocktail Whisperer

Vida, Vida, I love you.  From the moment that I touched you to my lips I knew that Del Maguey "Vida" San Luis Del Rio Mezcal would be a favorite in my home.  If it’s citrus that you like along with that ever-present aroma of the earth, then you’ve come to the right bottle.  This liquid dream potion is woven along with the smoke and the fire of the many day method of cooking the agave to make a most approachable version of what we call Mezcal.  And Mezcal this is- brimming with wet stones, smoked wood and bursts of lime coated chunks of raw salt. 

The first sip of the Vida should be poured into a hand crafted ceramic pot about the size of a half-dollar piece.  Then, according to Ron Cooper who imports this incandescent swig, the liquid potion should be poured onto the floor, yes you heard me correctly, poured onto the floor.  Not to waste it- but to awaken the spirits held within each sip.  You see to fully understand Mezcal, you must attempt to embrace the relevance of understanding the unknowable.  The art of Mezcal dates back several hundred years and it contains secrets not yet known by the casual drinker.  You have to open your mind to what you don’t know when you drink Mezcal.  There are many so-called experts of Mezcal and there are also some who really understand this nip of liquid driven mysticism.  I am not an expert, nor am I a layman.  But what I am is driven to is the dark side of the Mezcal equation.  The place where everything is possible and your dreams are only as far away as a night’s rest in Mezcal’s embrace. 

It’s getting to be that time when the seasons change.  The light seems different the way it catches my glass and then somehow and the things that I enjoy drinking take on a darker hue.  The sun hangs in the sky for a shorter period too, as if to say to the drinker, “ This is something mysterious in your hand.  It is quite bold so please, I beg you, drink me!”

There is something mysterious and bold about drinking the Vida from Del Maguey.  First of all there is the history of the process.  Then there is the purity of the ingredients, the hand crafted nature of the product itself.  Most importantly there is the sense of adventure that you get when you drink Vida.  It is unlike drinking Tequila and I know that some people who would vehemently disagree with me on this topic. But they are going to have to work with me on this topic.

Mezcal and Vida in particular give the flavor adventurer something to plan for their next tasty vacation! Go on a liquid driven vacation in your glass every time you swallow Mezcal. 

To fully appreciate the experience of adventure you need the correct container to imbibe the distillate.  I recommend the unglazed terra cotta cup.  They are small.  Perhaps a .25 of an ounce, if that fits inside each cup.  This little cup can be shaped like a little pot as well.  They are popular in Mexico and shouldn’t be a problem to find here in the USA. 

Fill the little cup with the Vida Mezcal.
Throw the first portion on the floor.
Sip the second one to all things good. 
Sip the third one to all things good.
Sip the fourth one to all things good. 
And so on.

I like to mix Mezcal like the Vida with gorgeous lager beer from Baja named Cabotella.  This little cocktail is just stunning with the crisp lager beer as the base and the Vida Mezcal dripped over the top.  A piece of a sea salt crusted lemon pinwheel sits on top then a hit or two of Agave Syrup will bring this very potent cocktail into your memory as quickly as it goes down.  The Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters give this drink some grounding to finally know that the cocktail has balance and class. 

On a hot night it will go down ever so easily!

The Vida Sleep Cocktail

1 oz. Vida Mezcal or your choice
3 oz. Cabotella Lager Beer (from Baja, Mexico)
1 oz. Agave Syrup
4-5 drops Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters

In a cocktail stirring glass fill ¾ with ice
Add the Vida Mezcal
Add the Cabotella Lager Beer
Add the Agave Syrup

Stir to combine but not foam over

Strain into coupe glasses with a few drops of the Bitter Truth Lemon Bitters over the top and garnish with a sea salt crusted lemon pinwheel. 

Why is it a sleep cocktail?  Have four and see. 

Cheers from DrinkUpNY!

Article by Warren Bobrow, a nationally published food and spirits columnist who writes for Williams-Sonoma, Foodista and the Beekman Boys.

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