A few years ago my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary in Cabo San Lucas at the beautiful Resort at Pedregal. Our vacation was at the end of October during Dia de los Muertos- what a beautifully celebrated holiday with heartfelt emotions and incredible food! We were treated to many days of holiday treats during our stay- including fresh oysters, local fruits and drinks by the pool.
One evening there was a special culinary event with impressive displays of food and drink. Among the baskets of dried crispy snacks- nuts, corn and roasted grasshoppers!- there was a tasting station of mezcal. This smoky alcoholic beverage is made by harvesting the core of the agave plant. It is then cooked inside earthenware and distilled in clay pots. My husband and I were somewhat new to mezcal and enjoyed tasting the varieties with a squeeze of lime.
I have to say that ever since that trip, there has been steady experimentation of mezcal cocktails in our house. The cocktail that has become a household favorite is the Mezcal con Pepino- it’s perfectly refreshing, smoky from the mezcal, tart from the fresh lime, a little spicy from the hot pepper and cooling from the muddled cucumber. Also known as the perfect TGIF year round drink. Very recently, my husband kicked up this house favorite by making a rosemary simple syrup and replacing the recipe’s agave syrup with his new herbaceous syrup- what a smart move. Not necessary, but if you’re feeling like kicking this drink up a notch, you’ll be glad you did.
Oddly enough, if you’ve got all the ingredients to make this delicious cocktail and discover that your kids ate all the cucumbers- I can assure you that you can safely substitute an orange sweet bell pepper. The result is a drink the color of a Hawaiian sunset and just as refreshing as the cucumber!
Mezcal Con Pepino Cocktail
This refreshing cocktail hits all the notes- sweet, tart, smoky, spicy, crisp. What more could you ask for? The agave nectar can be substituted with plain simple syrup- although a house favorite is an herbaceous rosemary infused syrup.
Cook's note- In a pinch, orange bell pepper was substituted for the cucumber and it was surprisingly delicious with a beautiful orange color!
- 2 ounces Mezcal
- 2 ounces fresh lime juice
- .75 ounces agave nectar or simple syrup
- 2-3 slices cucumber
- 2-3 slices serrano or jalapeno pepper
Put lime juice on rim of a glass and coat in tajin and sugar.
Muddle the cucumber and serrano into a cocktail shaker.
Add in mezcal, lime juice, agave/syrup.
Fill with ice and shake.
Pour over ice and garnish with lime and additional tajin.