This drink, slightly adapted from Cala in San Francisco, is really a hybrid of a martini and a mezcal margarita, made savory, rich, and somewhat salty with the addition of Castelvetrano olive brine. The cocktail is bright, briny, and refreshing, with a delicate touch of smoke.
- 4 Castelvetrano olives, for garnish
- 4 ounces (120ml) mezcal
- 1 ounce (30ml) Mandarine Napoléon (see note)
- 1 ounce (30ml) fresh juice from 1 lime
- 1 1/2 ounces (45ml) Castelvetrano olive brine (Divina brand preferred; see note)
- 4 dashes Bar Keep Fennel Bitters (see note)
Chill 2 martini glasses. Thread 2 cocktail picks with 2 olives each.
Add mezcal, Mandarine Napoléon, lime juice, olive brine, and bitters to a cocktail shaker and fill 2/3 full with ice. Shake until well chilled, about 15 seconds. Strain into chilled glasses, garnishing each with a cocktail pick. Serve immediately.
Cocktail shaker and strainer, 2 cocktail picks for garnish
Divina Castelvetrano olives are available at many gourmet grocery stores. If you can't find them, consider halving the olive brine and adding more to taste, as salt levels vary drastically. If you don't have Mandarine Napoléon, you can substitute Cointreau or Pierre Ferrand Dry Curaçao. Bar Keep Fennel Bitters are available where cocktail bitters are sold, and online here and here. If you can't find them, the drink is also tasty with orange bitters instead.