Friday, March 11, 2011

Smoky the Bar

East Butchertown, loaded up and truckin'. A social call tonight at Louisville's bacon-obsessed "gastropub" sensation, The Blind Pig, hit paydirt big time. Not only were the fish n' chips delish, but they actually offer a Mezcal-based cocktail called a "Smokey & The Bandit". And I'm the boy who can't say no.

And no ordinary Mezcal, mind you - these are serious people who splurged for the heavyweight stuff: Del Maguey artisanal Mezcal is supersonic high-end high-test formula produced in limited batches by practitioners of ancient Mexico's grand tradition of agave fermentation. Here, I'll let them tell it:

Del Maguey (pronounced: ma-gay) brings you a collection of fine, rare, unblended mezcals made by individual family producers in tiny remote villages scattered throughout the state of Oaxaca (prounced: wah-ha-kah), Mexico. Each Del Maguey Mezcal bears the name of the village where it is produced. The highest level of integrity is maintained in order to preserve this art which is revered by the peoples of the mountains, plains and fertile valleys of this magical region.

Using natural processes over four hundred years old, the village palenquero (maker) captures the true body and spirit of mezcal with only two ingredients: water and the heart of the maguey (agave). The hearts of maguey are roasted over hot stones in a pit in the ground for three to five days covered with earth. They are then ground to a mash using horse-powered stone mills, followed by a long period of natural fermentation in wooden vats and finally distilled twice, very slowly, in wood-fired clay or copper stills.

These mezcals are truly unlike any others. They are the most rare, pure and fine available in the world. Their flavor has been described as smokey, true, deep and warm. Our production is only available in exclusive quantities, for each different village's mezcal, to preserve 16th century style and quality.

So, they took that and the Mezcal-based liqueur Crema de Mezcal (also made by the Del Maguey folks), added a little Chartreuse and a splash of OJ and bitters, then muddled cherries and oranges to a pulp for texture. Lastly, they tossed in some smoked bourbon sugar for good measure. Put it all together and you get Christmas with Bill Haley and the Comets.

Dude. Words fail me. Best cocktail I've had this year or last. They also offer a Bacon Manhattan using bacon-infused whiskey, but I fear I may never get to try it because all I can think about is gettin' some more of this exquisite Mezcal concoction.

- - JSH

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