Dead of Summer (Meurto de Verano)

Dead of Summer (Meurto de Verano)

When I think summer, I think backyard barbeques. And what's a barbeque without corn on the cobb? Whilst brainstorming a corn cocktail I immediately thought to use Mezcal. I'm sure it'd also be great with Tequila, but I really wanted to utilize the smokiness of Mezcal. 

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Chocolate Chili Mezcal Recipe

Ever since my Mezcal Hot Chocolate, my mind has been preoccupied with the holy trinity of flavor – sweet, hot and smoky. My every thought consumed with ideas of how to take my new obsession to another level. I experimented with chocolate chili cupcakes. A great idea, poorly executed by me.

Finally I decided to create a syrup. I started with a brown sugar syrup. Combined it with cocoa powder and chili flavored chocolate. Then added some mezcal. And then more mezcal. And even more mezcal. By the time I was done it was like a deliciously boozy yoohoo.

After a few days of shaking the bottle due to separation, it dawned on me. Had I just taken the long route to an idea so simple it should have been the obvious one.

Instead of shaking my concoction to prevent separation I welcomed it. I strained of the mezcal top layer and squealed with joy. I had managed to successfully infuse one of my favorite spirits with my favorite chocolate. And I had no clue I was doing it.

Choco-Chili Mezcal

1.5 cups Filtered Water

1.5 cups Brown Sugar

1 cup cocoa powder

4 ounces Lindt Chili flavored Chocolate (chopped)

1 dash salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Slowly stir in brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved.  Add salt and vanilla. Stir in cocoa power. Keep stirring until it is well dissolved. Reduce heat to medium low. Stir in chocolate a little at a time, allowing for the chocolate to fully melt. Once the chocolate has completely melted remove from heat. After cooling, add to equal parts mezcal. (Any extra can be bottled and used as ice cream topping or added to milk.)

Allow your CCM to sit in the fridge for 3-5 days, shake daily. Then strain 2 to 3 times using cheese cloth and a mesh strainer.

It’s a bit of a process. But totally worth it in the end.

So what now? Let's make a cocktail!

It's Chocolate I'm In Love-pour

It’s Chocolate. I’m In Love

1 ounce Choco-Chili Mezcal

1.5 ounces 1800 Tequila

.75 ounces Sweet Vermouth

Dash (or two) Orange Bitters

Stir. Strain. Enjoy!

Have fun and imbibe happily!

- Nikki

Mezcal Hot Chocolate

I had my first cold of the season this past weekend. An annoying cough that derailed my weekend plans, keeping me in bed. All weekend long I craved nothing but comforts foods. Hearty soups, casseroles, and a variety of carbs. This got me brainstorming about a comfort cocktail.

Is there any drink more comforting than the hot chocolate. When it's cold outside and there's snow in the air, we immediately reach for the hot cocoa mix. Hot Cocoa is synonymous with comfort and warmth. 

Rich & Spicy Mezcal Hot Chocolate

2 cups Milk

1/4 cup Condensed Milk

2 tbsp Cocoa Powder

1/4 cup Semi-sweet Chocolate Chips

1/2 tsp Vanilla

1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder

Pinch of Kosher Salt

1 1/2 oz Mezcal

1 1/2 oz Tequila

Marshmallow garnish, if desired.

Serves two or one with a really big mug.

In a saucepan, bring milk to a simmer on medium to medium-high heat. Stir in condensed milk. Reduce heat.

Using a whisk, slowly stir in chocolate chips. Once chips have melted, add in cocoa powder. Continue stirring until smooth.

Now add vanilla, cayenne pepper and salt. Continue to stir a few minutes longer. Then remove from heat.

After removing from heat. Stir in Mezcal and Tequila.

I garnished my hot chocolate with jumbo marshmallows dusted with cayenne pepper and cocoa. I then roasted them with a kitchen torch.

mezcal hot chocolate marshmallow

What is Mezcal?

Some would say that Mezcal is a type of Tequila, but I would argue that it's the other way around. Since Mezcal has a broader definition, it's Tequila that is a type of Mezcal.

Tequila is made specifally from Blue Agave, whereas Mezcal can be made from a variety of agave plants.

Tequila is made from the piña, the heart of the agave plant and is steamed before distillation.

Mezcal is roasted underground in a pit before distillation, giving Mezcal it's smoky flavor. 

roasted marshmallow

I love this recipe for hot chocolate. It is super richness and the kick from the red pepper gives you a warmth all over. It's the perfect snow day cocktail. And it's sure to knock out any pesky cold. Almost makes getting sick worth it.