The name of this cocktail from La Condesa in Austin, Texas means dry smoke. To subdue the potentially overpowering mezcal, Nate Wales devised a hibiscus agua fresca. The final result is a light, subtly smoky, and well balanced cocktail with a gingery zing.
The hibiscus agua fresca also makes a tart and floral addition to teas and punches.
Note: Dried hibiscus flowers can be found in specialty spice shops, Latin markets, or online. To make simple syrup, combine 1 cup water with 1 cup sugar in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved. Cool before using. Simple syrup will keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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- For the hibiscus agua fresca:
- 1 cup dried hibiscus flowers (see note above)
- 2 ounces of peeled and chopped fresh ginger, by weight
- 4 cups water
- 4 ounces simple syrup (see note above)
- 4 ounces fresh juice from about 4 lemons
- For the cocktail:
- 1 1/2 ounces mezcal, such as Del Maguey San Juan del Rio
- 3/4 ounce Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur
- 2 1/2 ounces hibiscus agua fresca
- Orange peel and julienned ginger for garnish
To make the hibiscus agua fresca, combine the hibiscus, ginger, and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer on medium heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain. Add simple syrup and lemon juice.
To make the cocktail, combine the mezcal, ginger liqueur, and hibiscus agua fresca in an ice filled cocktail shaker. Shake for 15 seconds and strain into an ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with orange peel and ginger.