4 Slices Serrano Pepper
1.5 oz Mezcal
.5oz Green Chartreuse
.75oz Domaine de Canton
.75oz Velvet Falernum
3 dashes Bittermens Mole Bitters
15 drops Hellfire Habanero Shrub
.5oz Gosling’s Rum
Add about 10 cilantro leaves and 3 Serrano pepper slices (or less if you want to keep your stomach lining) to the bottom of a chilled mixing glass. Top with the Velvet Falernum and muddle. Add the Mezcal, Green Chartreuse, Velvet Falernum, Domaine de Canton, Mole Bitters and Habanero Shrub. Add ice and stir until mildly chilled. Rinse a chilled rocks glass with the Goslings rum, but don’t discard the excess. Double strain the chilled cocktail into the rum rinsed rocks glass (try that 3 times fast) over a large cube. Garnish the drink with a flamed lime twist on top of the ice. Take the last Serrano slice and cut through the ring in one place (so it will hook on to the glass). Rim the mouth of the glass with the Serrano slice and then leave it on the glass. Stuff a small sprig of cilantro through the cilantro slice to complete the garnish.
Smoke, pepper and cilantro on the nose. Notes of smokey agave, fresh grass and herbs, anise and ginger with a touch of citrus and bittered mole. The palate is light up front then hits hard with the flavor and intense spice while lightening up a bit just before the finish. Lingering ginger and spice with a hint if cilantro at the finish. In case you weren’t sure, this one is HOT.
“Tiki-philes have their flaming spent lime shells and scorpion bowls. Classic cocktailers have the magic of a flamed orange zest. Molecular mixologists have their Smoking Guns. …You don’t have to go full Blue Blazer, not nearly — heck, you could go full Fireball Whiskey! (or Fire Rock Pale Ale, etc.) You could riff on the Old Flame or come up with an inventive name of your own. You could even use a good firewater or burned wine. (and if you’re grilling fruit, save some for me, will ya?) In essence, bring the heat! Bring the Fire! Bring your inspiration!Many drinks have come around from challenges/requests from friends. I once made a friend a drink with Soy Sauce and Duck Sauce by request, that given the ingredients was almost drinkable.”
I like this one because, well fire is cool. I also like that there was a lot left open to interpretation and fortuitously, I had been working on a drink that’s quite spicy. I figured it would be a good one to share with folks for Mixology Monday. While the only fire used in En Fuego is the flamed lime twist, I’m sure after one sip of this peppery concoction, your mouth will certainly be on fire.
En Fuego came about from a request from a friend for a very spicy and smokey drink. I’ve made him spicy drinks before, such as the Albuquerque Old Fashioned and Scorched Earth, both of which feature Bittermens excellent Hellfire Habanero Shrub. He has also tried some of my more recently acquired Bitter End Bitters Curry and Thai Bitters, which are also pretty spicy. None of these were enough. He wanted something really hot, that still had some semblance of flavor.
I decided to use some fresh peppers to spice this one up. I thought a habanero might be too much, since the goal was to have this still taste like something other than pure fire. Instead I opted for a Serrano pepper. Since we were going smokey and spicy, Mezcal seemed like a perfect base. I just happened to have some cilantro and thought it might add some good flavor to the mix. Domaine de Canton has a spicy ginger finish that fit the theme and flavor of the drink quite well, while Green Chartreuse adds some complexity and sweetness with herbal and grassy tones added to the cilantro.
I used Velvet Falernum to sweeten it up, but Agave Nectar also works quite well in this one, giving a flavor that is a touch more “hearty.” I threw in some Mole bitters and of course some habanero shrub, because… well why not? The Gosling’s adds a touch of sweetness and gives the drink a slightly smoother texture.
Hopefully some folks out there will enjoy the heat in this one. It’s my friends favorite drink at the moment. If it’s too hot for you, you can always tone it down by leaving out some Serrano or skipping the Habanero shrub all together.
Also be sure to check out the full Mixology Monday “Fire” round up here.
Obviously you could tone down the spice in this considerably and have something more “normal” people might enjoy more. While I opted to not use any juice in this, you could definitely add lime juice and turn this into a sort of bastardized Mezcal Last Word variation.
- Summer in the OId Square (drinkstraightup.com)
- Domaine de Canton Dinner Series (drinkstraightup.com)
- Mixology Monday LXXV Cocktail: The Carlos Danger (putneyfarm.com)
- Scorched Earth (drinkstraightup.com)
- Albuquerque Old Fashioned (drinkstraightup.com)