Mexican Sazerac – Ocho Tequila & La Escondida

In the last few months I had a growing interest in tequila. On top of that, we had a great Sazerac by the bartender from the Blind Pig in Dublin. Therefore, I tried to recreate the recipe with a combination of Reposado tequila and mezcal. I agree that a Sazerac needs a little bit of oak aged spirits.

First, let us talk about the Ocho Reposado Tequila. As already mentioned in the article about the Ocho Blanco. The piñas for the Reposado age for seven to ten years on the “Las Presas” estate. The mash is then fermented for four to five days in 3000 l pine vats. The first distillation takes place on a 3500 l stainless steel pot still. For the second distillation a 300 l copper pot still is used. The Reposado tequila uses whiskey-barrels for ageing. After eight weeks and eight days the tequila is bottled at a 40 % ABV.

Smooth agaves

Similar to the Blanco, you can taste the agave notes in the Reposado. There also are some flower notes and an additional oak flavour. However, the Reposado is more subtle than the Blanco, but also a little less complex. Furthermore, the barrel flavour is not that prominent. Again, when sipping it neat, it can use just a drop of water, to bring out some more flavours.

The La Escondida Mezcal uses seven to ten year old Espadín agaves from Oaxaca as a base. The roasting of the piñas takes place in holes for three to five days. Afterwards, the agaves are ground using the “Tahona” method. Next, wild yeasts ferment the mash. The distillation takes place in two runs on Alambic-style copper pot-stills. After distillation the mezcal is bottled directly with an ABV of 40 %.

Just a small burning tyre

The typical smoky and umami mezcal notes are accompanied by fruit flavours. On top of that, the La Escondita also has some herbal notes, reminiscent of coriander. If you concentrate very hard, you can also sense a whiff of dark chocolate. All in all, the La Escondida is not the most powerful mezcal, nor the most complex. Yet, it balances the typical smoke flavours with fruit and even floral notes which gives it a certain smoothness.

Almost only Mexican ingredients

To prevent the mezcal from overpowering the flavour, I just used a half ounce of mezcal and one-and-a-half ounces of Reposado tequila. For the bitters I opted for Peychaud’s Barrel Aged Bitters, but you can also use the regular one. Instead of a little bit of Angostura I used the Dr. Sours Aromex bitters. For a sweetener you should use agave syrup, but I only had rice syrup on hand. It also worked fine.

Mexican Sazerac:
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4,5 cl Ocho Reposado Tequila
1,5 cl La Escondida Mezcal
3 Dashes Peychaud’s Barrel Aged Bitters
1 Dash Dr. Sours Aromex Bitters
1 cl Rice Syrup Mix (1:1)
3 Sprays Oliver Matter Duplais Verte Absinthe
Stir – spray chilled cognac glass with absinthe – strain;
Garnish: Lemon Twist;
Song: Chingon – Spanish Castle Tango;

 

The combination of Peychaud’s Bitters and absinthe instantly evokes the memory of the typical Sazerac. However, the agave notes make the drink fruitier than a regular one. Of course, the smoky mezcal flavour dominates the drink, but the Reposado keeps the drink from being too smoky. The cocktail is very well balanced, but still spirit-forward. When you are a fan of agaves and strong drinks, you should mix one for yourself.

*The fact that I received a product reviewed in this article for free, did not – in any way – influence the rating of said product.

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