cover image  Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave

Mezcal and Tequila Cocktails: Mixed Drinks for the Golden Age of Agave

Robert Simonson. Ten Speed, $18.99 (176p) ISBN 978-1-98485-774-3

Food writer Simonson (The Martini Cocktail) delivers an eclectic compilation of recipes for mezcal and tequila cocktails. He begins with a history of the spirits, noting how, in the 1920s, Americans traveled south of the border to drink agave spirits because they weren’t available stateside. Mezcal, after decades out of the spotlight, has enjoyed a boom in popularity lately, making its emergence on the drinks scene something of “a Cinderella story... in which an age-old spirit has finally been recognized for the liquor royalty it always was.” Many of the recipes are brand-specific and designed to complement a distillery’s style. Minimalist offerings like the Mezcal Collins (made with Del Maguey Santo Domingo Albarradas) play to a purist experience, while the Dados is a delicious concoction that calls for a touch of the aperitif Suze. The Perfect Pear is a sour option utilizing spiced pear liqueur, and Simonson also shares the recipe for a Oaxaca Old-Fashioned made famous by New York’s Death & Co., and a smaller collection of tequila-only cocktails. Sippers new to mezcal will appreciate the chart matching classic cocktails with their mezcal equivalent (those who like the Negroni, for instance, should try the Benny Blanco, while Moscow Mule fans should check out the Mezcal Mule). Agave lovers will be in heaven. (Apr.)