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 the pepper flakes, balsamic syrup and strawberry. Add the remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Double strain over fresh ice into an Old Fashioned glass. Garnish.

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