Happy Hate Week Friday everyone. Before I get into this week’s cocktail, I felt compelled to add a little alcohol related hate going into the weekend. In a shock to absolutely nobody, Puritan founded Massachusetts has stupid rules when it comes to alcohol:
You want a happy hour? You can go fuck yourself! That’s right, Happy Hour is ILLEGAL everywhere here since being banned in 1983. Despite other states around Massachusetts having happy hour, apparently the sky will fall and EVERYONE will get shitfaced and drive if we can get half priced beers after work. Not content to ban happy hour, the commonwealth now wants to go after beer gardens. God forbid we can drink outside during the three months where it’s not cold and/or miserable. Apparently drinking (full price) beers outside are hurting the poor conglomerates that have a stranglehold on the restaurant industry, so those fuckwits are trying to kill those places.
Speaking of those beer gardens the commonwealth wants to give the Old Yeller treatment, those are the only places you can drink outside without food. That’s right. It is a LAW in Boston that if you have an alcoholic beverage outside, you need to have food with it. Why? Who the hell knows.
OK Fine. You’re thirsty, kind of hungry and it doesn’t suck out! Want to sit outside? NOPE! It’s before April 1st! The city FINED restaurants for catering to people wanting to take advantage of a 60 degree day. February sucks in Massachusetts. It’s mostly cold and miserable. So when the temperature gets that warm, people want to be outside. This rule literally makes zero sense. Other than just a straight up money grab.
Last, but most certainly not least, Boston caps the number of active liquor licenses in the city. What that means is that your local dive bar is in danger of up and closing because they got a windfall of cash from some celebrity chef that is opening a new place in the middle of downtown. So pretty soon the entire city is going to be dry except for a 2 square mile area of overpriced mass produced crap food.
Ok, now that the hate is out of the way, on to this week’s cocktail. I’m reaching for the tequila this time around and making a Mexican Firing Squad
Looking over the recipe, I thought adding a little smoke flavor would make it taste just a little bit better! Unfortunately, I was lacking a smoky mezcal. No worries! Where there is a kitchen torch and some hickory chunks from the grill, there is smoke!
2 oz. Tequila or mezcal
.75 oz. Lime juice oz.
.75 oz. grenadine.
Add the tequila, lime juice and grenadine to a shaker and shake well and strain into a small rocks glass over fresh ice. Garnish with the lime wedge and 3 dashed of the bitters on top.
Simple and easy! The first thing I notice is the hickory smoke nose. I ended up letting the glass smoke about for about 15-20 minutes, and I re-lit the wood a couple times to maintain the smoke inside the glass. On the sip, you get a very light smoke flavor. The smoke then quickly gives way to a quite harmonious tequila lime flavor, with a hint of sweetness from the grenadine coming in towards the end. The finish is where the Angostura bitters come in. The bitters flavor compliments the flavors and keeps the grenadine in check, preventing it from becoming overly sweet and ruining the flavor.
This is on the make again list for sure. Though next time I want to try a mezcal version side by side with a version where I smoke the tequila itself rather than just the glass. As fun as the glass smoking is, it is more of a party trick than functional. That’s because with the plain glass, there really isn’t a whole lot for the smoke to cling on to, so a lot of its flavor gets lost when you pour the drink from the shaker.
(Banner image found here)