Distiller's Table - 'Mexico'

I get excited about all of the distillers table events, but Mexico was particularly close to my heart. Myself and the long suffering wife spent some time exploring Mexico earlier this year and fell in love with the country. I couldn’t recommend it more, it is such a magical place, the food is to die for, the people are super welcoming and the Mezcal is so so tasty.
We spent new years in Mexico city which was pretty wild, contrary to the rumours it felt pretty safe as a city to visit and we will definitely be going back soon, for the tacos alone if nothing else! We then flew down to Oaxaca, which is now my favourite city to visit, I can’t quite put my finger on it was that I fell in love with but there is just something about the city that you really need to experience, and in all of my travels I’ve never eaten better. We then grabbed a hire car and spent a few days exploring the Yukatan and checked out pretty cool old stuff and ate more tacos and drank more Mezcal! The trip definitely inspired the cocktails for this instalment of distillers table.

Everywhere we drank in Mexico we were served great snacks and so we had to put some food out to go with the cocktails. We served home made guacamole, pico de gallo and corn chips to get people in the mood.

We kicked the drinks off with our take on a classic Mexican cocktail, the Paloma. I went with Woden gin for the big grapefruit hit and spice notes from the fennel. To the gin I added fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, agave syrup and soda and served it long, with a chilli lime salt rim. A nice refreshing drink to kick things off and wake up the palate for what was to come.

For our second cocktail I wanted to use flavours I found in the markets of Oaxaca, (quite literally as the chillies came back in my hand luggage).  I made a rich, bright sour with Aqvavit, avocado and a smoked arbol chilli syrup, lime juice and Mezcal.

As a fun little palate cleanser we served up a shot of tequila with a verdita chaser which is a green spiced juice made of pineapples, coriander, jalapeños and some secret ingredients. Whilst serving the verditas Steph and I donned our wrestling masks and got our luchador on in the garden. No surprise but Steph was victorious.
For the finale I wanted to use some of the flavours of the Mexican spiced chocolate mole sauce, but in a subtle way. So I made a Negroni - Martinez hybrid of gin, vermouth and a spiced chocolate and orange syrup.
We of course drank much Mezcal and Tequila as the evening progressed to help us get in the true Mexican spirit, what better way to spend Cinco De Mayo.


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