Seven Vancouver Bars to Try Super Cool Mezcal Cocktails

mez8Hot on the heels of Vancouver’s Tequila Expo comes this month’s coolest spirit to have in your glass: Mezcal, the smokey-tasting cousin of Tequila made from the heart of the agave plant. Whether you’re a Mezcal aficionado or brand-new to the trend, here are seven delicious sippers for you to try… and fall in love with.

Uva Wine and Cocktail Bar

Winner of the recent Pelóton Mezcal cocktail contest at the Vancouver International Tequila Expo, Uva’s Katie Ingram romped home with the prize with an innovative creation inspired by the battles of Mexico’s Zapatista rebels. Ask Katie to tell you the epic revolutionary tale which takes in fires, fights and fermenting pineapples to create a pineapple-Mezcal shrub cocktail with a mesquite wood-toasted syrup to round out the flavours. Viva la Piña de la Muerte! Viva Katie!

mez5The Pourhouse

Derek Boone created the Graceful Exit one evening after a regular asked for Dealer’s Choice –when the bartender gets to create something special, just for the customer. “Mezcal is a song I can’t get out of my head, it haunts me as an ingredient and I’m fearless with it and that’s the way I feel it wants to be treated. With dealer’s choice, usually I take a classic, break it apart and rebuild it either from the foundation spirit or the supporting structure of unique amaro, liqueur or other oddities we like to hunt down and covet. So I bastardized and tweaked a spirit/sweet/bitter build, by taking a heavy smoke, sweet and spicy Mezcal like Los Siete Misterios, the floral and herbal sing-song of Amaro Montenegro, the bitter and sweet oranges of Aperol, a dash of Bitter Truth peach bitters to round out the fruits and lemon oil to dry out the finish.”

mez3La Mezcaleria

Canada’s first Mezcal bar, Commercial Drive’s La Mezcaleria, offers the biggest selection of Mezcals in the city and is the perfect place to hone your mezcal smarts. Try the Coquito: a boozy, refreshing swizzle style cocktail that mixes Mezcal, Tequila and coconut Tequila with lime and mint. Bar manager Pablo explains, “we use Alipus Santa Ana del Rio, a mezcal produced in a town known for their cheese production. The yeasts in the air during fermentation give  the Mezcal a buttery nose which pairs nicely with coconut.”

mez7The Keefer Bar

Fresh from competing in Chicago at the World Class North America heats, the team from the Keefer bring you a new treat on their summer list, the House of the Rising Sun. A twist on a Tequila Sunrise, the House of the Rising Sun is made with Los Siete Misterios Doba-yej, orange juice, chili pomegranate cordial, Angostura Bitters & black sea salt, spicy, smokey and not too sweet, this is set to be a great summer sipper.

mez6L’Abattoir

New head bartender Will Johnson has added one of his favourite modern classics to L’Abattoir’s list, from New York bar Death and Co, the Oaxaca Old Fashioned. What would be seen as sacrilegious in Mexico takes on an innovative twist north of the border when tequila and mezcal are mixed together to create something delicious and new. “It’s a good way to bring mezcal to a new bar audience,” explains Will. “That’s why the drink is so successful, it’s the same principal as an Old Fashioned, and we spray orange oil in as we mix and then flame it, which adds to the complexity (and looks cool!).

Photo Credit: Talia Kleinplatz

Photo Credit: Talia Kleinplatz

West

West’s talented new bar manager, Sabrine Dhaliwal (who just stormed the  Belvedere Challenge in London, the  international contest among the world’s best bartenders to create a legendary martini cocktail) has created the L’amour Mexicaine with Alipus San Andres Mezcal, Chateaux d’Orignac Pineau de Charentes and Scrappy’s cardamom bitters. “The drink is a lovely balance between the smokiness of the Mezcal and slight sweetness from the Pineau de Charente, “ says Sabrine. “The cardamon bitters help round out the edges. the cocktail also has a rich mouth-feel, the lemon oils help cleanse and refresh the palate for the next step.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEl Camino’s

Nick Devine, co-owner of El Camino’s likes his Mezcal to come with a kick. His Mezcal Mule hits the spot, with a simple yet effective cocktail which showcases the citrus notes of Los Siete Misterios Doba Yej mezcal and adds a wickedly spicy suckerpunch with Grace Bros. Jamaican ginger beer. Refreshing with a smokey edge, this is the only thing to drink on Main street this month.

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