Restaurants / Bars

Our Favorite Liquor Mezcal in 6 Cocktails

December 2, 2017

In the past few years, mezcal has grown to become one of our favorite liquors. The Mexican alcohol has won over our taste buds with its signature smokiness that adds a layer of depth to any drink. Though it is already a popular drink in countries outside of Mexico, its popularity in the Philippines harkens to a niche market, interest in the agave-based drink seems to be growing as bottles of it are becoming more available through alcohol distributors, and more bars are including it in their menus. Here are some cocktails through which you can try what we predict to be the next big thing in alcohol to hit the Manila drinks scene.

Bank Bar – Mezcal Negroni

Bank Bar just came out with a new cocktail menu that the holiday season is begging you to check out.

If you fancy huh, Bank Bar’s Mezcal Negroni is an art piece disguised as a cocktail. The mezcal-based negroni is sweet and smooth, and is garnished with a honey-glazed sliver of iberico, that offers salty darkness to the drink and opens up your tastebuds to experience more of the red vermouth.

Niner Ichi Nana – Mr. Bigote

Niner Ichi Nana has off-menu items from previous menus that they can make on request, including the Mr. Bigote.

Mr. Bigote is as suave as its name implies. Perhaps one of the more accessible approaches to the oft intense mezcal, Mr. Bigote serves it up in a comfortingly familiar bourbon-based cocktail similar to a bourbon sour. The first smell gives you pineapples followed by orange, and a sip brings forth a syrup-like mouthfeel that delivers a smokey sensation to your nose.

Polilya – TIGRITA

The Tigrita is one of the many cocktails of Polilya that uses the bar’s house beer in it to give the drink more texture.

Mezcal goes wonderfully with fresh fruit, as its homeland is teeming with a colorful and exotic variety of it. Polilya combines the oft intensely sweet pineapple with mezcal, an a touch of cilantro oil matures the drink into something you can slowly take in throughout the evening. There is a hint of smoke as much as there is a hint of fizz, that gives your tongue a little tingle after every sip.

Yes Please – flying v

Seriously, order this if just for the delight of drinking it from a parrot glass. | Photo by photokitchen.

The Flying V is designed to be a fun, island-party type of drink, and it lives up to that expectation. Warm colored fruits give it a fun, tropical taste that goes down easy and makes it an ideal day-time drink. The smoky flavor of the mezcal balances and mellows it out, and the becherovka gives it an herby flavor.

12/10 – Green Crack and Lorem Ipsum

The two cocktails of 12/10 may seem like polar opposites, but both manage to make use of the versatile mezcal in a way that does the hard-to-obtain liquor justice.

Owners Gab Bustos and Thea de Rivera of 12/10 are really into mezcal that they offer not one but two different cocktails with our hero liquor. The green crack offers something lighter and more subtle. With a base that combines gin and mezcal, the cocktail is brightened with lime and the faint taste of cardamom that leaves an impression without bring overwhelming. The shiso garnish enhances the fresh experience of the citrus drink. On the other hand, the Lorem Ipsum is their version of a strawberry margarita: rambunctious, very berry, fresh and sweet. It has the gritty texture associated with strawberry-based drinks, but offers a delicate approach, with the strawberry being treated like the elegant berry it is instead of just your favorite lollipop flavor made into a drink. The curry leaf garnish adds a savory depth to the mix, emphasizing their point that this is not your ordinary beach-side cocktail. (Note: they usually serve it with a kaffir lime leaf, which has a similar effect.)

Bea Osmeña SEE AUTHOR Bea Osmeña Bea Osmeña is a healthy-ish eater who is just as likely to take you to a vegan joint as she is to consume a whole cheese pie to herself. A former picky eater, Bea has discovered the joys of savory fruit dishes, but still refuses to accept pineapples on her pizza. On the rare occasion you catch her without food in her mouth, you are likely to find her looking at books she can't afford, hugging trees, or talking to strange animals on the street.
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