I am adventurous in many aspects of my life (or so I like to think). For example, I have no problem buying produce at the grocery simply because it looked “interesting” and then figuring out how to cook it later. However, when it comes to cocktails, buying liquors, spirits and mixers that I am not familiar with scares the bejeezus out of me. Left to my own devices, every party would have dirty martinis or greyhounds made from vodka. Fortunately, I have some great friends and colleagues who know their way around a bar and are determined to get me out of my “vodka rut”….
So we are back with another installment of Libation Celebration with master mixologist Ronaldo Colli, owner of the acclaimed bar Ivy Room, who is determined to open up my mind (and taste buds). I am always a willing guinea pig but when Ronaldo suggested we use a liquor that was previously banned in this week’s drink, I was a little hesitant. The central ingredient in this drink is bacanora, an agave-derived liquor made in the Mexican state of Sonora. And did I mention it was illegal until 1992 for reasons that are not 100% clear, but I would venture to say it was because this stuff is “lethal” in the best way possible. Bacanora is in the mescal family of spirits and counts tequila and mezcal as it’s cousins. But that is pretty much where the familial bonds end. Bacanora is deceptively smooth with a slightly smoky note thanks to the distillation process. Mixed with the cloves and pomegranate the cocktail, it is perfectly balanced and totally unexpected….something you would expect from a drink named The Roxy…..