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2 oz. mezcal
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 barspoons balsamic vinegar syrup (see below)
1/2 fresh strawberry
1/2 oz. agave nectar
1/2 oz. lime juice
2 dashes rhubarb bitters (click here for a DIY recipe)
Tools: shaker, muddler, strainer, double strainer
Glass: Old Fashioned
Garnish: fresh strawberry half
In a shaker, lightly muddle pepper flakes, balsamic syrup and strawberry. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain over fresh ice cubes into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish.
For the balsamic syrup: In medium pot, combine
1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/2 cup water on medium-high heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook until syrup turns dark amber. At the same time, in a separate saucepan, simmer 1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar. When sugar syrup has darkened, add heated balsamic vinegar and stir over medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool in an ice bath. Once cooled, transfer to a small bottle and refrigerate for up to 6 months.
Raul Yrastorza, Las Perlas, Los Angeles