Last week we spent a fun evening tasting tequila at Las Casuelas Terraza’s Fiesta de Tequila event, and walked away with a greater appreciation for the history and craft of tequila making, as well as a little bit of an obsession with mezcal! Mezcal is a liquor with a distinctive sweet and smoky taste that is made from the agave plant. Contrary to popular belief, mezcal is not a type of tequila; rather, in a sense tequila is actually a type of mezcal. In order to be properly classified as tequila, the spirit must use a specific type of blue agave, and must be produced only in certain regions of Mexico (the state of Jalisco and small parts of four other states), while mezcal can be produced with up to 28 varieties of agave in a few different areas of Mexico (but is largely produced in the villages of Oaxaca). Mezcal is experiencing a bit of a renaissance right now with the introduction of some great artisanal “single village” mezcals.
Between our sips of spirits, we convinced General Manager Patrick Service (who is also managing partner of the soon-to-be-open Appetito Deli in Palm Springs) to share Las Casuelas Terraza’s own recipe for a Paloma cocktail, but with a twist by incorporating both tequila and mezcal. We mixed up this sweet and smoky concoction ourselves, and it is delicious!
3/4 oz Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal
3/4 oz blanco tequila (Las Casuelas Terraza uses Cuervo Tradicional Silver)
1/2 oz fresh squeezed lime juice
Lime wheel slices for garnish
Grapefruit soda (Las Casuelas Terraza uses Toronja Sol; we also tried it with a grapefruit, chamomile & cardamom concoction we found at World Market, which was tasty!)
Coarse grained salt for rim (if desired)
Pour the first three ingredients over ice in a tulip margarita glass or similar (we used a slightly more modern version ourselves), then fill to the top with grapefruit soda. Stir, garnish with a lime wheel, and voila! We like ours with a salted rim, but it can be served either with or without salt. Enjoy!
Images by Anthony Cioffi for Palm Springs Style