When it comes to citrus in cocktails, the juice gets a lot of the credit—but Mezcaleria Las Flores partner and head bartender Jay Schroeder points out that there’s a lot of magic in the peel. “The best parts about using seasonal citrus are the flavors and aromas trapped inside the citrus zest,” he says. “They can be easily accessed with a little elbow grease, and the results are well worth the efforts.” For this cocktail, Schroeder transforms blood oranges into a bright cordial using both the juice and the zest, matching the fruit with mezcal and apple brandy.
1 oz. mezcal
1 oz. blood-orange cordial
1 oz. fresh lime juice
½ oz. Calvados or other apple brandy
¼ oz. maraschino liqueur
¼ oz. simple syrup (1:1)
1 fresh egg white (pasteurized, if you prefer)
Tools: shaker, strainer
Shake the ingredients without ice until foamy, then add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill. Strain into a chilled coupe.
Blood-Orange Cordial: Use a vegetable peeler, Microplane grater or sharp paring knife to remove the zest from 6 blood oranges. Juice the oranges and measure the amount of juice; combine the juice with an equal amount of sugar (by volume) and the reserved zest, and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Let the mixture rest in the refrigerator overnight, then strain to remove solids. Keeps refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Jay Schroeder, Mezcaleria Las Flores, Chicago
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