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DIY cocktail: “Ai Yi Yi” mezcal, pineapple and red chile

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Cinco de Mayo is this Sunday and for most of us that means drinking margaritas and eating tacos in celebration of….um, wait, what is Cinco de Mayo celebrating? I sadly did not know the answer to that question so with some quick wiki-ing (cuz you can believe anything on the internet) I found out that it’s basically the Mexican Independence Day which has turned into a celebration of Mexican culture here in the states. Oh, great! Love it! Even more reason to drink yummy margs and eat yummy Mexican cuisine! In honor of all of the above, I created this original cocktail using Mezcal, which is a smokey, tequila-like liquor for which I’ve recently developed a liking.

I think it’s fun to err, educate oneself on the different liquors out there and sometimes there’s nothing better than a carefully crafted cocktail. So if you’re 21 and over, and in the mood to experiment with something new this Cinco de Drinko, try the smokey, sweet and spicy Ai Yi Yi!

Mezcal or Mescal is made from the Agave plant (like Tequila) but unlike Tequila the plants are first roasted in underground ovens for about 3 days before they are processed and fermented. The roasting gives mezcal a very distinct smokey flavor which I think pairs really well with fruits like pineapple. The smokiness is unique and can take some getting used to, but once you get over the initial shock, it’s really tasty! There are many different kinds of mezcal available at liquor stores, etc. They can range in price from about $30 to over $100. This cocktail recipe compliments the smokiness with the spicy chile and cool pineapple and lime.

Prep It:

  • fresh pineapple – 1 cup of puree per drink
  • lime – 1 tablespoon of lime juice per drink
  • fresno pepper or a red chile – a few thin slices
  • mezcal – 2 ounces – double shot per drink
  • ice
  • salt for rim – optional
  • agave syrup if you’re pineapple isn’t sweet enough

DO IT!:

  1. cut your fresh pineapple and puree in the blender
  2. add water to the pineapple puree to water it down to a orange-juice-with-pulp like consistency – tip: taste the mixture after you add the water and if it’s not sweet enough, add some agave syrup to get to your desired sweetness. If you’re pineapple is really ripe, you probably won’t need the agave.
  3. slice your red fresno pepper into thin slices – remember the seeds are what make the pepper spicy so make sure to keep them on your slices if you want the cocktail to have a little heat.
  4. combine 1 cup of pineapple puree, 2 ounces of mezcal, a few slices of pepper, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and ice into your glass and stir to combine ingredients and cool the mixture (you could also shake it all in a cocktail shaker).
  5. garnish with a pineapple slice and an extra slice of pepper and ai yi yi happy Cinco de Mayo!!!

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