It is easily doubled for parties. The cocktail is a refreshing mix of mezcal, citrus juice, and sparkling water. Lime juice from Key and Meyer lemon juice provides a floral and tart flavor to this otherwise straightforward cocktail. Meyer lemons provide a subtle tang compared to regular lemons but give plenty of acidity that balances with the sweetness from the basic syrup and the sharpness of alcohol. To get the most flavorful, Lopez recommends single-origin espadin mezcal. It is made of espadin agave (the most popular variety for producing mezcal) with a slightly spicy flavor and a fresh finish.
Any spirit based on agave can be considered mezcal. Therefore, tequila is included in this category; however, tequila has to be made with blue agave, and mezcal can be produced from various agave. Espadin agave is suitable for mezcal production due to multiple reasons. It has more sugar in comparison to other types of agave. It matures to full maturity, which means it can be harvested within eight years versus 13-15 years for other classes. Espadin agave can also thrive in almost every environment, adapt to different terrains and altitudes, and is abundant throughout Mexico.
After harvesting, the agave juice is filtered and distilled two times before maturing and bottling. The tequila-based drink popular in Texas and the ranch water region is a bubbly drink that draws on citrus juice and sparkling water. When guests arrive, squeeze the Key lime and lemon juice before serving to mix up an extensive batch cocktail. Then, finish each drink with orange bitters drizzling for a supplementary burst of citrusy flavor, with a hint of spice such as anise, cardamom, and caraway. The warm sauce hints at heft to the otherwise fresh, bright, and clean drink.
- 3/4 cup (6 ounces) single-origin espadin mezcal (such as Lopez Real)
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (from 4 lemons) (preferably Meyer lemons)
- 1/3 cup simple syrup
- Two tablespoons fresh Key lime juice (from 4 Key limes)
- 1/8 teaspoon of acceptable sea salt
- 3 cups sparkling water
- 1 cup large ice cubes, plus more or glasses
- Orange bitters
- Mix espadin mezcal simple syrup, lemon juice, Key lime juice, and acceptable sea salt in a large bowl. Add sparkling water and Ice cubes. Mix the drink evenly in 6 glasses containing ice. Top each one with a dash of orange bitters.