1oz Mezcal (Del Maguey Vida)
1 dash Regan’s Orange Bitters
1 dash Urban Moonshine Maple Bitters
Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub (optional)
For anyone who has been following The Straight Up for a while, or even if you just look through a few pages, it’s obviously no secret that the Boulevardier and Negroni are two of my favorite cocktails, both of which share one of my favorite ingredients, Campari. While the end product of this concoction is a variation, it started out a bit different. I was playing with the great combination, of Mezcal and Cynar. I wanted to add a little more body to the mix. As most know, a few ingredients are always on my mind (Campari, Chartreuse, Fernet, Cynar, etc) and Campari seemed like a great one to try, effectively turning this combo into a Negroni variation.
While on paper, Scorched Earth doesn’t sound a lot different than some other negroni variants, the combination of Mezcal and Cynar are particularly magical, resulting in a very herbal smokey and earthen taste, that is enhanced by the addition of bitter orange Campari.
Many have suggested substituting Cynar for Campari in a Negroni or other recipes, as the both have great bitter flavors, and allow for a different take. Meanwhile as a bitter lover, I like to use Cynar in place of vermouth in recipes. While more bitter, Cynar is still a bit sweet, making for a great substitute for vermouth in my mind.
Throwing in the optional Habanero Shrub, really changes the taste, adding heat but taking away some of the sweetness, and is great depending on your mood. I like the drink enough both ways to recommend trying it eitherway. Plus you can say you tried a spicy Negroni.
So while I have seen many substitute Mezcal for gin, and Cynar for Campari in a Negroni, I haven’t found any recipes that use this particular combination. The three ingredients tie together very well. As far as bitters go, experiment with what you like if you don’t have the bitters recommended.
Check out Negroni. More to come.