DISTILLED FROM THE MAGUEY PLANT – a type of agave – mezcal is tequila’s lesser-known but equally potent cousin. It takes up to 25 years for the maguey heart (or piña) to mature, at which point it’s harvested and pit-roasted to impart mezcal’s signature smokiness.
TQLA’s Sonoran Sunshine takes the bite out of this Mexican moonshine by balancing it with sweet citrus and elderflower. Start by muddling three lime slices in a mixer. Add 1 1/2 oz. Crema de Mezcal, 1/2 oz. St. Germain liqueur, 1 oz. pineapple juice and 1/2 oz. agave syrup. Shake well, strain and pour into a martini glass rimmed with chili salt. Top with Champagne for a bright and bubbly finish, then garnish with pineapple to complete the smoky spirit’s Pygmalion-like transformation.
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