We all know that Halloween is right around the corner. And that means that Dia de los Muertos, or the "Day of the Dead" -- Mexico's festival celebrating the souls of the departed -- has arrived, as well. And how better to commemorate a holiday than with food and drink? All over the country, clever mixologist have designed cocktails that celebrate the Day of the Dead, with Mexican agave spirits like tequila and mezcal; clever use of other spirits and liqueurs from the country; and no small dose of local inspiration.
At the beautiful Buena Vida in Silver Spring, Maryland, "El Alebrije," celebrating Oaxaca's fantastical folk art sculptures, combines reposado tequila, El Silencio mezcal, a blend of amari, blackberries, and a grapefruit cordial, served in a skull glass and garnished with mint; meanwhile, their ghostly "La Llorona" makes use of blanco tequila, hibiscus syrup, and lime juice, garnished with grasshopper salt air.
At Downstairs at the Esquire Tavern in San Antonio, TX, the darkly-hued "Midnight in Mexico" balances bright and brooding, with smoky mezcal, the spicy chile liqueur Ancho Reyes, and rich, earthy Fernet-Vallet.
San Diego's Mexican restaurant and bar , in the Gaslamp Quarter, created the "Poison Apple," equal parts Mexican-inspired and autumnal: an apple-spiced margarita with tequila, applejack, lime, agave, and pomegranate, served with a cinnamon sugar rim. Sed de los Muertos," or “thirst of the dead,” with Gran Centenario Reposado tequila, chili ash, fresh lime juice and agave in a 40-ounce goblet meant for sharing; and the "Rest in Paraíso," a twist on a mango margarita with Maestro Dobel Silver tequila, fresh mango, fresh lime juice and agave, all with a chili ash rim.
Authentic? Perhaps not. Delicious? No question.
[Image: Kody Melton]