Recipe by: JIM MEEHAN, PDT, NEW YORK CITY (2008)
Mezcal Mules—Moscow Mules that call for mezcal instead of vodka—are commonplace today. But they weren’t when Jim Meehan came up with this recipe at his famous New York speakeasy, PDT, in 2008. “I was intrigued with how spirits (peated whisky or mezcal) could be used to impart a smoky quality to cocktails,” said Meehan. “There’s an old maxim in the wine world that ‘if it grows with it, it goes with it.’ I brought this concept into the development process. Passion fruit is common in Mexico, and has a heady aroma reminiscent of the natural, open-vat fermentation of many mezcals. Cucumber, also common there, reinforces the vegetal character of the spirit, while the lime and ginger add acidity and earthiness, respectively. A pinch of Mexican chile, which is commonly added to slices of jicama and oranges, served as snacks in mezcalerias, adds heat and more earth.” The result is strong, sweet, sour, smoky, vegetal, hot, and even a little floral, and has inspired many similar drinks.
- Cocktail Shaker
For the Mule
- 3 cucumber slices, plus 1 for garnish
- 1/2 ounce agave syrup (1:1 agave nectar to water)
- 1 1/2 ounces Del Maguey Vida mezcal
- 1 ounce Ginger Wort (recipe follows)
- 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3/4 ounce Boiron passion fruit puree
- Candied ginger for garnish
- Ground chile for garnish
For the Ginger Wort (makes about 3 cups)
- 3 cups water
- 8 ounces minced ginger
- 1 1/2 ounces light brown sugar
- 3/4 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice
Make the Mule
- Muddle the 3 cucumber slices and agave syrup in the bottom of a mixing glass, then add the remaining ingredients, except the garnishes. Shake with ice and then fine strain into a chilled double old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Garnish with the piece of candied ginger joined to a slice of cucumber on a pick and add a sprinkle of ground chile (a salt shaker works well for this).
To Make Ginger Wort
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the water to a boil, pour into a nonreactive container, and add the ginger and brown sugar. Cover and set aside for 1 1/2 hours. Strain through a chinois into a pitcher or bowl, pressing the ginger to extract as much liquid as possible. Stir in the lime juice. Transfer to a bottle or jar, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.